As Myanmar's military seeks to put down protest on the streets, a parallel battle is playing out on social media, with the junta using fake accounts to denounce opponents and press its message that it seized power to save the nation from election fraud, eight people with knowledge of the tactics said.

The army, which was banned by the country's dominant online platform Facebook after the Feb. 1 coup, has tasked thousands of soldiers with conducting what is widely referred to in the military as "information combat," according to the people, who include four military sources.

The mission of the social media drive, part of the military's broader propaganda operations, is to spread the junta's view among the population, as well as to monitor dissenters and attack them online as traitors, the people said.