back to article Bored bloke takes control of British Army 'psyops' unit's Twitter

A crafty joker seized control of the British Army's "influence and outreach" Twitter account – and labelled the military unit "fun sponges" when they tried to get it back. 77 Brigade is the Army's social media influence unit. Rather than posting branded Instagram selfies and the like, they carry out information operations and …

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  1. David Knapman

    I love how they've now removed all ways of "following" them from the "Follow us" block but left the block itself behind.

    And apparently aren't aware of the wayback machine.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20190213123424/https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/force-troops-command/77-brigade/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We have always been at war with Eastasia"

      The wayback machine is lying. The army has no twitter account and has never had a twitter account.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We have always been at war with Eastasia"

        The question is not whether the world is six thousand years old, the question is who put those dinosaur bones there for you to find.

        1. Mark #255

          Re: "We have always been at war with Eastasia"

          As anyone who's read Good Omens knows, that was just the almighty messing about with the Pleistocene.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          "the question is who put those dinosaur bones there for you to find."

          You know, it was Slartibartfast & C.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. horse of a different color

            Re: "We have always been at war with Eastasia"

            Hasn't Terry Christian let himself go?

          2. Kane Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: "Fossils were put there by God to test us. Like Richard Dawkins. And facts."

            Enter stage right, the late, great Bill Hicks! Everyone, give him a round of applause!

            ...But I actually asked this guy, ‘OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?

            He goes: ‘God put those here to test our faith.’

            'I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out.

            Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: ‘Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!’ You know?

            You die, you go to St. Peter:

            Did you believe in dinosaurs?’

            ‘Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!’

            ‘You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!’

            ‘It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!’

            ‘Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!

          3. Toni the terrible

            Re: "We have always been at war with Eastasia"

            Richard Dawkins is really really testing

        4. Benchops

          Re: "We have always been at war with Eastasia"

          > who put those dinosaur bones there for you to find?

          "End nuclear testing now!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If the 77th brigade are what they say they are, surely...

      They'd be controlling the conversation and steering this thread.

      (Just a thought, from outside the box, so to speak).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If the 77th brigade are what they say they are, surely...

        No, it's already under the control of the Bavarian Illuminati.

        Who don't exist, by the way.

        Hey - 11 MPs and counting, good job well executed Agent 54!

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: If the 77th brigade are what they say they are, surely...

          The illuminati are really just those in Italy* who took part in what we call the Enlightenment but in Italian was the Illumionosso, hence Illuminati. Enter the dead oppressive hand of the Medieval thinking Church and of course they went a bit incognito.

          From there we have this silly conspiracy theory. According to some as a published research scientist I'm one but I'm not allowed to tell you about meetings or I'd have to kill you, or something like that. We would occasionally have a good laugh about it in the lab. Our robes and cowls seem to be permanently in the wash so all; we have is lab coats and scrubs for the animal house.

          But then many lab coat sleeves are far too voluminous and in constant danger of sweeping stuff off the bench. I expect robes and cowls are even less H&S compliant. BTW the H&S jobsworths would insist we wear labcoats even when as qualified, experienced research scientists we knew there was no need (ie we did not need protecting and what we were working on didn't need protecting). There is even a defined step in one procedure where you take your gloves OFF to do the washes. RNAses literally drip from our fingertips and this replaces adding RNAse to reduce background. But try telling that to H&S jobsworths who think buffer is dangerous (it would be fine to drink it, like oral rehydration fluid).

        2. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: If the 77th brigade are what they say they are, surely...

          No, it's already under the control of the Bavarian Illuminati.

          Based in Bielefeld I'm guessing?

          Background information for those that don't get the joke

      2. I&I

        Re: If the 77th brigade are what they say they are, surely...

        One Night in Bangkok

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      And apparently aren't aware of the wayback machine.

      I liked this image from that page. Anyone feel like a quick chorus of He's Got the Whole World In His Hands?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Jesus Haploid Christ, no!

        I still have PTSD from being forced to sing that when I was six years old. Fucking brainwashers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Anyone feel like a quick chorus of He's Got the Whole World In His Hands?"

        The verses "you and me brother" and "you and me sister" would need updating to include at least their god's non-binary creations.

    4. caffeine addict

      More importantly, Wayback also has their twitter account as it was before it was hijacked...

      https://web.archive.org/web/20170610074853/https://twitter.com/77th_Brigade

  2. Locky

    PsyOps taken over

    Judge Anderson will not be pleased

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PsyOps taken over

      Anyone for a night at the opera?

    2. ArrZarr
      Coat

      Re: PsyOps taken over

      The boredbloke missed a trick not claiming they were a cavalry brigade and saying that they'd rather be called PsyClops.

      1. ricardian

        Re: PsyOps taken over

        In the RAF and in non-cavalry army units the cavalry were referred to as "donkey wallopers"

        1. Secta_Protecta

          Re: PsyOps taken over

          I was posted with them a couple of times as a tank mechanic and took great delight in calling them "tankies"

          This prompted them to indignantly scream "No we're cavalry!"

          To which I would reply "Well then where are your horses?" Apart from the ones in the polo stables of course...

          Worked every time :)

  3. Augie

    I wish I was surprised at this, but I'm not..

    Brought to you by the same military that pissed 4 Billion up the wall with the nimrod debacle..

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Wow. We can have 450 soldiers running our social media warfare department, but we can only afford 156 tanks for the entire British army.

      Make you weep.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Which is funny because we need neither

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "pissed 4 Billion up the wall with the nimrod debacle"

      Black Concordes armed with nukes don't buy themselves mate.

      1. caffeine addict

        I'd actually be up for increasing their funding if they were going to buy some black Concordes with nukes. Although they'd have to use some kind of thermochromatic paint that went white when it got hot...

        1. CrazyOldCatMan

          buy some black Concordes with nukes

          Why use nukes when you can use properly-appointed summoning circles?

          Read the latest Laundry Files book for details..

      2. Toni the terrible
        Devil

        Squadron 666, and watch out for The Mandate

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        surely there is a requirement

        .. for upgraded genetically modified engineered mounts, with at least 3 of the following traits

        -Endurance in excess of 6 hours at 30 mph over rough terrain (when ridden with standard issue saddle, rider and kit)

        -Endurance in excess of 30 minutes at 50 mph on metaled road surfaces (when ridden with standard issue saddle, rider and kit)

        -Ability to see in the dark

        -Ability to recognize and obey a controlled vocabulary of at least 20 distinct commands

        -Invisible

        -Bulletproof

        -Carnivorous

        -Flight (when ridden with standard issue saddle, rider and kit)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: surely there is a requirement

          Are you asking for genetically modified frikken sharks with lasers, legs and wings?

    3. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      Nimrod?

      Revisionist history there old chum; the RAF were asked what they wanted, the MoD wrote (and rewrote, and rewrote, and rewrote...) the specification and MessyBeast ordered trebles all round. End result - no airbourne early warning aircraft for the RAF, no work for the wire-pullers and wrench-benders but plenty of G&Ts for the boss and Attaboys for the suited slime in Whitewash... sorry Whitehall.

      Biggles would be so proud.

      1. Salestard

        Re: Nimrod?

        That wasn't really the problem though, was it?

        The problem was that somewhere, some daft twunt (or committee of twunts) decided and decreed that the new AWACS should be shoehorned into shagged out old handbuilt/non-standardised airframes based on a non-standardised airliner airframe. Effectively building the damn things from scratch, using a firm that makes printer ink look like value for money.

        It was only ever going to end up a massive money sink... to sit in the pantheon of massive money sink cock-ups cooked up by the Triumvirate of Success that is the MoD-Treasury-Defence Contractor. Although even Nimrod 'upgrade' isn't going to trouble to undisputed champion of cockups that was the Chieftain Multi-Fuel engine.

        The British... war on a budget, peace on a shoestring.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nimrod?

          You remind me of deciding to turn down a job on the Multi-Fuel engine and subsequently not regretting it.

          Proof that "we've had enough of experts" long antedated Michael Gove.

      2. Augie

        Re: Nimrod?

        Well no the AWACS version, the MR4..

        I know the history of this clusterf^&k too well sadly.. wings that dont fit etc..

    4. Peter2 Silver badge

      Brought to you by the same military that pissed 4 Billion up the wall with the nimrod debacle..

      To be fair, the Nimrod was in comparison to any of it's competitors (including the P8, which we are going to replace it with) a spectacular aircraft in terms of performance so it was quite reasonable for the RAF to want to keep it with a few improvements, especially if the quote was competitive for doing so. BAE screwed up the project massively, not the RAF.

      The problem BAE had was basically modern assumptions and working practices versus the assumptions and working practices of the 1960's.

      Modern working practices are that design is done in CAD, and the parts are produced with computer driven equipment to ensure that every two parts are completely, perfectly identical with literally inhuman precision. In the 1960's when the Nimrod was made somebody actually hand made these parts on a Lathe to a paper plan with a human degree of precision.

      Back in the 1960's, If a part was a tiny faction of an inch off when it came to fit it then the designers working with a slide rule and a pencil knew that'd happen when they designed it, the fitters knew it'd happen sometimes when they fitted the part, and the fitter reached for a file and filed it down so it'd fit (or it went back on a lathe to trim a thousandths of an inch off) and nobody thought anything of it because it was accepted practice with a small scale production run and fixing little issues like that was part of the job.

      In the modern day and age, when the chap tries to slot the parts together and they don't fit everybody involved has a meltdown. The issue gets passed to the line manager, who immediately halts work and passes the issue up to his manager, and so on until it hits the project manager. A cloud of recriminations then drops downwards. Eventually somebody suggests filing a bit off to fit, to somebody sucking air in through their teeth and wondering about the design risk of doing so. A full engineering and risk management review is then conducted, which comes to the conclusion that as long as the two parts meet correctly then it''s as much of an issue as it has been since the aircraft entered service in 1970.

      The part is duly filed to fit, and things proceed for another twenty minutes until the next time that 21st century manufacturing practices meet 19th century craftsmanship practices that persisted into the middle of the 20th century.

      Rinse and repeat until a handful of the aircraft have been delivered, but the project has overrun for a decade. What somebody ought to have done was come to the conclusion early on that you couldn't interface the new computer built parts with the handmade parts and just built the entire thing from new parts.

      This isin't a new issue even in the 20th century, look at the production of the Bofors gun. The Sweedes handbuilt 18 of them for what they wanted, built another 10 for export before then getting orders for a few hundred. These were built with instructions labelled "file this part to fit" before British and the later American mass production started on a larger scale with improved drawings (building a few thousand) and then epic scale when the Americans built an entire industry (~2000 subcontracters) around knocking them out in the tens of thousands with a high degree of precision.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    You all missed including the black helicopter

    So here it is.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: You all missed including the black helicopter

      Black helicopters are for paranoia. This deserves a clown's nose icon. [Hint to El Reg.]

    2. Trilkhai

      Re: You all missed including the black helicopter

      I know it's supposed to be a black helicopter, but my first thought whenever I see it is, "caution, bug splattered on windshield!"

      1. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: You all missed including the black helicopter

        Half the time I seem to see it as a sign warning of xenomorph facehuggers, before remembering that it’s supposed to be a helicopter!

  5. Jason Bloomberg
    Joke

    The Best of British

    Is "boredbloke" British?

    Probably not for long. The Home Office will declare him a Viking, Norman or Roman based on bloodline and deport him.

    1. dak

      Re: The Best of British

      The original Normans were all Vikings.

      And Roman is almost an anagram of Norman - spooky, eh?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Best of British

        Norma would be proud...

    2. Cliff Thorburn

      Re: The Best of British

      Probably tracing the bloodline back to Roswell ...

    3. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: The Best of British

      Home Office will declare him a Viking, Norman or Roman based on bloodline

      Or, even worse, Celtic..

      Can't trust those Celts y'know. Sneaky types in blue woad don'tchaknow.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: The Best of British

        Can't trust those Celts y'know. Sneaky types in blue woad don'tchaknow.

        I think you Pict the wrong tribe for wearing woad.

    4. I&I

      Re: The Best of British

      Are they a bloke?

      1. macjules Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: The Best of British

        If it’s woad then it must be Jonathan Ross.

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