Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane has said that in Iraq and Syria, it is Daesh*, "an organisation steeped in the 17th century", that is far more advanced in using social media to devastating effect than the 21st-century armies of the the US and the UK.
Addressing the Pragyan Conclave 2020 at the Manekshaw Auditorium in Delhi, Narvane spoke on the use of new technology and changing character of warfare.
The Indian Army has set up Cyber Monitoring Cell to keep tabs on the use of social media by its personnel, especially on non-encrypted sites.
The step was taken after reports that Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence was using "honey-traps" on social media, to dupe military personnel working in strategic defence establishments and even their family members.
Following these reports, the army banned personnel from viewing pornography on social networking sites, using photos in uniform as profile pictures, exposing official identities or ranks, disclosing unit names and locations, and accepting friend requests from unknown persons.
Daesh began using digital media by uploading grainy videos of atrocities on the internet as part of its gruesome propaganda machine. Today, it has maximised its reach on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, messaging apps like Telegram and Surespot, and content sharing systems like JustPaste.it.
In a 2015 report, the London-based think tank Quilliam Foundation revealed that the terrorist group releases, on average, 38 new items per day—20-minute videos, full-length documentaries, photo essays, audio clips, and pamphlets, in languages ranging from Russian to Bengali.
*Daesh (also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and other countries.