US Marines and U.K. encourage troops to use social media

US Marines and U.K. encourage troops to use social media

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Iava Folks, some folks in the press, um, forgot to fact-check when they reported that the US Marines banned the use of social media. It only had to do with the use of limited networks, which makes sense; you sure don't want sensitive networks compromised.

The folks at NextGov.com were pretty cool about admitting that in Marines and Social Nets: We Goofed


… the Marine Corps said,
"Marines are encouraged to tell their stories on social networking
sites, using personal accounts, remembering the importance of
operational security and that they are Marines at all times."

So, how did news sites around the world, including Nextgov, erroneously report the Marines had banned access to sites such as such as Twitter, YouTube and MySpace?

The simple answer is that the collective "we" — myself and all the
other digit stained wretches who reported on the supposed ban — were
guilty of herd mentality, following and believing the Associated Press
story linked above.

On a more positive note, the UK government encouraging their troops to use social media:

U.K. Defence Ministry encourages troops to use social media


According to the Online Engagement Guidelines,
U.K. troops "can make full use of Web sites such as Facebook and
YouTube as long as they follow the same high standards of conduct and
behavior online as would be expected elsewhere; always maintain
personal information and operational security and be careful about the
information they share online; and, get authorization from their chain
of command when appropriate."

The Defence Ministry added that troops and civilian workers could
post to social networking sites without prior authorization as long as
they adhere to the guidelines on operational security and online
behavior. The policy, touted in a Defence blog,
represents "an important change over earlier rules, under which
personnel always needed to seek authorization before publishing any
work-related material," the ministry said.

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