The senior Twitter executive with editorial responsibility for the Middle East, Gordon MacMillan, also has a second job – an officer in the British Army’s psychological warfare unit, the Middle East Eye reported on September 30th, 2019.
MacMillan joined Twitter’s UK-based office in 2013, but has also worked for the British Army’s 77th brigade, which was formed in 2015 to develop “non-lethal” war capabilities.
The “investigation” was hardly a complicated one, as he even advertised his position in the army on his LinkedIn profile. He has since removed that additional line from his profile.
“I have a strong interest in politics and international affairs and am a reserve officer in the British Army serving in 77th Brigade, which specialises in non-lethal engagement,” the Independent reported.
The 77th Brigade uses social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as podcasts, data analysis and audience research. It does so in order to wage “information warfare” in the words of the head of the UK military, General Nick Carter.
According to Carter, the 77th Brigade is giving the British military “the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level” and shape the narrative regarding a specific conflict.
Twitter, the UK Ministry of Defense, as well as MacMillan himself refused to comment on his role in the 77th Brigade.
Twitter’s only comment is that “we actively encourage all our employees to pursue external interests”, while the MoD said that the 77th Brigade had no relationship with Twitter, other than using it for communication.
The British army’s website describes the 77th Brigade as “an agent of change” which aims to “challenge the difficulties of modern warfare using non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviours of the opposing forces and adversaries”.
General Nick Carter spoke of the unit’s activities at the Royal United Services Institute:
“In our 77 Brigade … we have got some remarkable talent when it comes to social media, production design, and indeed Arabic poetry,” he said.
“Those sorts of skills we can’t afford to retain in the Regular component [of the army] but they are the means of us delivering capability in a much more imaginative way than we might have been able to do in the past.
We also, though, need to continue to improve our ability to fight on this new battlefield, and I think it’s important that we build on the excellent foundation we’ve created for Information Warfare through our 77 Brigade which is now giving us the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level.”
The Ministry of Defense did not confirm MacMillan’s role but said reserves signed “conflict of interest declarations”.
An Army spokesperson said: “We employ specialist reserve personnel from a variety of civilian occupations in order to utilise the skills and experience of senior professionals.
There is no relationship or agreement between 77th Brigade and Twitter, other than using it as a social media platform.”
Twitter also gave a comment to the Independent, saying something that clearly contradicts reality:
“We do not allow our data services to be used to surveillance purposes or any in other manner inconsistent with people’s expectation of privacy,” a statement added.
“Employees who pursue external volunteer opportunities are encouraged to do so provided they are compliant with our company guidelines.
“We proactively publish all tweets and accounts relating to state-backed foreign information operations on the service – regardless of the source.”
Despite that it is completely unknown which accounts the 77th Brigade operates, but any accounts even remotely related to “Russian disinformation” or Iran are instantly announced and subsequently censored. No evidence is needed.
Reports of Twitter censoring alternative and independent points of view are also numerous, it is essentially conducting its own psy-ops, and has hired people to clearly do this. Of course there would be no conflict of interest between MacMillan’s duties as a Twitter executive and in the 77th Brigade, since both roles aim for the same end goal.
Twitter earlier banned “State-controlled media” adverts, but the catch is that a US-government funded NGO – Freedom House and others determine which media is considered “Government funded”.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Amnesty International Proposes To Replace Corporate Censorship With Government Censorship
- Constructing the Narrative: Censorship On Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram
- Google, Twitter And Facebook Corodinate Efforts To Supress Non-Mainstream Coverage On Hong Kong Protests
- Twitter Moves To Ban Adverts From ‘State-Controlled Media’, Determined By US-Government Funded NGO Freedom House and Co.