THE UK’s chief of the defence staff General Sir Nick Carter has revealed the secretive 77th Brigade of the British Army is involved in countering coronavirus misinformation online.

Speaking at today’s daily briefing, Carter said the unit, which was set up in 2015 to specialise "non-lethal" forms of psychological warfare and use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to “fight in the information age”, had been tackling false information about the pandemic on the web.

The brigade is 2000-people strong and has its headquarters near Newbury in Berkshire, where troops are expected to deliver “means of shaping behaviour through the use of dynamic narratives”.

Last year SNP MP for Dunfermline and West Fife Douglas Chapman faced “vile” abuse on Twitter after suggesting the 77th Brigade was attacking and undermining people in Scotland.

READ MORE: ‘Vile’ abuse after SNP MP says Boris bots attack Scotland

The UK Defence Journal took up the intervention and said there had been no proof of this, and Chapman removed his post when responses got increasingly abusive.

But the MP said bots are often used to spread misinformation online and any organisation using such tactics needed to be called out.

At the time, an Army spokesperson said: “77 Brigade do not conduct UK operations.”

At the briefing Carter joined Dominic Raab, who is standing in for the Prime Minister as he recovers from coronavirus, and chief medical officer Chris Whitty.

Carter said the crisis has been the single biggest logistical challenge the Ministry of Defence has faced throughout his 40 years serving, and explained how forces are involved in testing and the repatriation of citizens stuck abroad.

Raab was asked during the briefing whether the MoD was being underused.

He said the Government always considers what more can be done and must deploy resources where they will be most effective. Carter added that the MoD has now deployed all the personnel necessary.

The general was also asked if armed forces would become more involved in drive-through testing centres, to which he said they are trying to design the correct testing model and have tried mobile testing “pop-ups”, but more work will be done on this issue.

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