Army’s new social media policy imposes stricter rules

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Army takes tougher stance on social media use, says new service-wide policy announced last week.

New guidelines released Thursday govern what information troops can share on their personal accounts and from which accounts Army officials can post. The guidelines also call for more training for key staff, transparency when posts are taken down and restrictions on the use of new, untested social media platforms before they are officially approved.

This decision is based on the publication by the Ministry of Defense of its first tips on social media in augustwhere he called for stricter regulation of official accounts.

Bryce Dubee, an Army spokesperson, said in a statement to the Army Times that the DoD policy “has become a catalyst for meaningful change in the Army’s social media landscape.”

A key outcome of the new policy is that Army leaders can no longer use personal social media accounts to post official DoD information.

As well as providing more training for social media managers, the policy will also require greater transparency when content is removed, with public acknowledgment of why a post was removed.

Army public affairs teams will also not be allowed to use new platforms until they are reviewed and approved through official channels.

Despite the ongoing debate over what role the services should play in managing their troops’ social media accounts, not everyone seems opposed to the update.

Carrie Lee, an associate professor at the Army War College, shared on social media that the revised policy could help improve civil-military relations and preserve the Pentagon’s nonpartisan status.

“DoD personnel may not use their official position or public office for private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service, or business, or for the private gain of friends, relatives or other acquaintances,” the Army policy reads, echoing similar language. to the August DoD report.

“This includes the use of any reference to his status, name, image, or likeness as a DoD employee or member of the uniformed services,” it continues.

Although it may be a while before you see an official service account on popular platforms TikTok or BeReal, the military still considers social media a valuable tool.

His social media handbook describes a variety of resources for troops and their families to use online sites safely and appropriately, including how to report misconduct and how to best express thoughts about political speech.

Dubee, the Army spokesman, said the service is “working on further social media guidelines to be posted on the Army’s public affairs website.”

Jonathan is the editor and publisher of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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