MILITARY 2.0: How the British Army tries to make sure careless tweets don’t sink fleets

tweetsA fascinating military social media account drifted across my timeline the other day. Or should that be advanced?

The @soldieruk Twitter aims to set out military best practice for social media use both for the job but also in military personnel’s private life.

Part teacher and part digital Military Policeman the account also taps people on the shoulder to let them know they’ve strayed across the line.

It’s also fascinating to watch how they strike the balance between adopting a voice that’s somewhere between the parade ground and the water cooler. A retro profile pic and reminders that ‘careless tweets sink ships’ does this rather well.

There are more than 200,000 British servicemen and women. There’s no way the digital genie can be put back into the bottle and it’s clear that social poses a real danger to the MOD as well as opportunity. It’s not just the giving away of troop movements that’s an issue. It’s the personal data that can put individual service personnel in harms way too. The murder of a soldier in Woolwich shows this.

When one serviceman tweeted about the far right English Defence League they were met with this from @soldierUK.

 

There’s also more general messages too…

In addition, there is general advice on how to use social media and to stay safe online. It’ll be interesting to see how the account pans out. Certainly, by embracing digital the MOD stand a far better chance of knowing the risks, pitfalls and opportunities. But with so many accounts to keep an eye on is just one team enough?