Why the Pentagon Promotes Social Networking by Viginia Rubey
3/22/2010 3:58:46 PM
Facebook: the third-most visited web site in the U.S. helps you remember your friends’ birthday, invite guests to her surprise party, post party photos, and... enhance the nation’s military?
Last month the Pentagon authorized the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media across the military after a seven-month review concluded the potential gains in recruiting, public relations, and personal communication, justify possible security concerns to the military’s non-classified network.
Deputy assistant secretary of IT David M. Wennergren explains, “We need to take advantage of ... this Web 2.0 phenomena.”
The key to taking advantage instead of being taken advantage of? “Be responsible... Part of this is about having a trained workforce that is savvy in how you operate in the information age.”
Commanders can limit use to protect operations and conserve bandwidth.
The goal of the new policy, says Wennergren, is to help military personnel “Use these tools to help get the job done.”
Military personnel aren’t the only professionals using social media to get their jobs done.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, IRS employees use social media tools to scrutinize taxpayers with enough frequency to inspire the Justice Department’s powerpoint: “Obtaining and Using Evidence From Social Networking Sites” to set standard guidelines.
“Tweets” can be used by law enforcement officials to check out alibis, and college administrators have used photo evidence of illegal drinking on college property to expel offending students.
The revolution won’t be televised, it seems, because it’s streaming.
Virginia Rubey is a New Orleans-based researcher and writer for AV Technology Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College.
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