Technology

Twitter’s top executive in Middle East turns out to be British Army officer

Twitter’s top executive
  • MacMillan, who joined the social media company’s UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade.
  • Gordon MacMillan’s role with the unit is shrouded in mystery.
  • UK’s Ministry of Defence said that the 77th Brigade had no relationship with Twitter, other than using it for communication.

(Karachi) The head of twitter’s editorial for Middle East and Africa is a British Army officer from the information warfare unit, it transpired on Tuesday.

The startling facts were revealed by Gordon MacMillan himself on his LinkedIn profile highlighting his role in the 77th Brigade.

MacMillan, who joined the social media company’s UK office six years ago, has for several years also served with the 77th Brigade. “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,” he wrote.

As Mac Milan’s role was exposed by media in Middle East, the last section of the passage was deleted.

The backdrop

The 77th Brigade, a unit formed in 2015 to develop ‘non-lethal’ ways of waging war, is an ‘information warfare’ operation that utilizes social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to develop behavioral change projects in regions such as the Middle East.

The brigade comprises of a variety of military units such as Media Operations and the 15 Psychological Operations Group. Before merging the group into the 77th Brigade, its key role was to deploy commanders in psychological operations in operational and tactical combats.

The 77th Brigade is giving the British military the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level. Besides, it is also responsible to shape perceptions of conflict.

Viewpoint

Meanwhile, Gordon MacMillan’s role with the unit is shrouded in mystery. However, he has declined to defend allegations about his role.

As far as twitter’s view on the matter is concerned, it said, “We actively encourage all our employees to pursue external interests.” while the UK’s Ministry of Defence said that the 77th Brigade had no relationship with Twitter, other than using it for communication.

According to Middle East Eye Newspaper, a former 77th Brigade officer has said on his page that he served with the unit’s “Information Warfare Teams” in the UK, Bosnia, France, Kenya and Albania.

Another, a former officer in the UK’s Royal Navy, has said that while serving with the 77th Brigade he was “the lead component on Behavioural Change for the Middle East Region and Counter-Radicalisation”.