The Marine Corps hand guide to online social behavior
- Wednesday, 14 September 2011
To Tweet or not to Tweet?
Last year, the U.S. Marine Corps stopped blocking access to Social Networking platforms like Facebook, or Twitter, to its troops, reversing an order issued the year before that called those websites "haven[s] for malicious actors and content."
In the announcement, Marine leaders instead encouraged branch organizations to "leverage the advances" of those social networks to share information, connect with likely new recruits and encourage internal communication.
Today, the Marine Corps take a step further as they issue The Marine Corps Social Media Handbook!
The handbook outlines the main Marine Corps social media principles – “to empower Marines to participate with our social media community.” The intent is to engage in greater discussion, as even better communicators and improved representatives of the Corps.
Starting with chapter titles like “To follow or not to follow?”, the handbook intends to provide a Marine code of conduct (“Personal behavior – What the Corps asks of you”), or assistance on how disable a few ‘apps’ which could seriously jeopardize some missions. It’s kind of understandable in times of warfare – it would be embarrassing to have a covert operation fall into pieces because your GPS device accidentally checked you in that abandoned Kebab House in a corner of Fallujah, the one which happened to be the Operations Centre that day, Right? Right.
Pretty much – The Handbook goes on to discuss such things as how to use the Eagle, Globe and Anchor signs, and provides “Additional guidance for Leaders” and outlines “how to set up ground rules for your fans”
“You may come across negative or disparaging posts about the Marine Corps or see others trying to spark negative conversations. Unless you are a trained and official Marine Corps online spokesperson avoid the temptation to react. Refer the posts or links to the conversation to your public affairs office.”
We get it though – the internet has indeed brought considerable changes to how people gather and share ideas, which has tremendously impacted on societies and consequently to the military too. A reckless Social media presence when located in war-zones can indeed put many lives at risk or....it can hinge on the Corps reputation; just like Pcf Schmucately here: