Social Media blamed for PNG Military Command and Control breakdown

Papua New Guinea Defence Force Commander Chief Major-General Gilbert Toropo has blamed social media for jeopardising the command and control of the military.  SOLDIERS, both men and women, are using social media to mobilise and start riots, Defence Force Chief Major-General Gilbert Toropo said..

“The information posted on social media by defence force personnel are jeopardising stable command and control in the force,” he said. “Unit commanders at all levels were finding it difficult to contain individual servicemen and women because they used social media.”

PNG Military Soldiers . Photo by Niugini Voice 

In a joint media conference with Police Commissioner David Manning, Maj-Gen Toropo said both disciplined forces were made up of different individuals with different mindsets. “It is not like the past where there was no opportunity for the use of social media and soldiers were contained by commanding officers,” he said.

“When senior officers are off duty, they will be too late to stop activities such as mobilising and roadblocks carried out by junior officers who organised these illegal activities through social media.”

Comm Manning said social media had given another set of challenges to the control in the disciplined forces.

The commanders said they were aware of modern-day challenges before they signed on as commissioner and commander.

Police members who used social media to cause fear and disruption would be dealt with accordingly, Comm Manning said.

He said the police internal investigations team would investigate and deal with officers who openly challenged directives on Facebook.

“Self-discipline is one of the things that comes with command and control,” he said.

“How a police officer conducts himself on and off duty keeps him/her relevant in the organisation.”

Statement/The National / Tech Pacific

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