From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 25): Army to fight Maute in cyberwar
Army said Saturday has fielded online combatants to thwart attempts by the Maute Group to spread online propaganda.
Task Force Marawi commander Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista said a social media monitoring team was formed to specifically foil the Maute group’s attempts to “sow fear and terror” and recruit more members through cyber space.
Bautista said that when the crisis in Marawi City started last month, the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, which he commands, was incidentally conducting a series of trainings on digital media capability enhancement.
He pointed out that training participants from various units in the army division eventually became the core group of Task Force Marawi’s social media monitoring team.
“This is part of the Division’s digital media initiatives to equip our personnel not only for actual combat operations but also enhance our digital capability in facing another kind of battle using internet technologies for disseminating information online and bring the Division to the community it serves,” Bautista said.
“The enemy and their supporters are actively utilizing online digital media to spread false information about the situation in Marawi City,” he said. “But our team is on the lookout to engage and provide counter measures and prevent the enemy of sowing fear and terror.”
An October 2016 report by regional security expert Sidney Jones, of the Indonesia-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, described the Maute Group as the “most social media savvy” among terrorists claiming allegiance to the Islamic State.
The Maute Group amplified its message and recruit more members through social media.