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How The US Air Force Stops Social Media From Spilling Military Secrets

Social media is a godsend of a tool for military families because it lets them communicate from thousands of miles away. But it can also be totally damaging to Operational Security (OPSEC), if a photo posted or a status reveals covert location data, which is the type of mistake that’s happened in the past.

So the US Air Force has published a 41-page guide to effective social media use in order to avoid major screw-ups, maintain OPSEC and create a standard operating procedure.

The PDF, which you can download yourself via watchdog site Public Intelligence, seems to be a sincere effort to help the people running these feeds, as well as those tweeting and Facebooking on their own, to understand how it’s done — because according to the guide, a lot of soldiers are just downright clueless when it comes to their online presence. So it’s got a glossary that defines some oh-so-important internet terms such as “avatar”, “browse”, and of course “troll”. And they get excited, say when they find out when it’s time to pack it up and head home, and reveal information that they just shouldn’t, thus section of the document that lists simple “Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media”.

It also covers the basics, like how to use Twitter and to avoid auto-posting across feeds. Considering the missteps the military has made online — for example, soldiers posting photos of themselves drinking when they shouldn’t be — it’s a pretty reactive, albiet necessary guide. [Danger Room]

Image: Straight 8 Photography/Shutterstock


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