US military turns to Twitter

2010-02-27 09:06

Washington - The Pentagon on Friday said soldiers will be allowed to Tweet, blog and update their Facebook pages on the US military's non-classified computer network under a new policy.

The decision came after a seven-month review with senior officials concluding that the benefits of social media outweighed the risks associated with free-wheeling web 2.0 sites that are popular with a younger generation of soldiers and Defense Department civilians.

Previously, the Pentagon worried that YouTube or other social media could take up precious bandwidth or that careless entries could expose military secrets.

While stressing the principle of allowing access, the policy unveiled Friday sets limits that grant commanders authority to "defend against malicious activity" such as cyber attacks and to bar access to sites with pornography, gambling or hate-crime content.

Commanders can also block access to social networking sites if necessary to protect a mission or protect sufficient bandwidth - but only on a temporary basis, said the policy memorandum.

"This directive recognizes the importance of balancing appropriate security measures while maximizing the capabilities afforded by 21st Century Internet tools," Deputy Defence Secretary William Lynn said in a statement.

'Integral tools'

Social networking sites and other internet services have "become integral tools for operating and collaborating across" the Defense Department and with the public, it said.

The policy requires consistent rules across the military, as restrictions had varied widely across offices and branches of the armed forces.

The US Marine Corps in August had renewed a ban on Twitter and other social networking sites, while the Army had been moving to ease some restrictions though maintained a list of banned social media sites.

Officials said the Marines would have to loosen the rules they had imposed and bring their guidelines into line with the new policy.

Defense officials and senior officers have increasingly recognized social media as crucial to reaching a younger generation, both within the ranks of the military and the wider public.

The top-ranking US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, has a large following on his Twitter account and for many military families, Facebook has become a vital link to loved ones deployed abroad.

The Pentagon first announced the policy change on Friday via the Twitter feed of Price Floyd, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs.

- SAPA
Read more on:    youtube  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  us  |  social networking  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Most expensive holiday ever?

Fancy taking a year off from work and travelling around the world? All you need is £220 000!

 
 

I love summer.24

The most epic YouTube mashup of 2014
Summer Survey!
Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where you could react and say something and then have to pick up the pieces. Take your time before...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.