Front Line Tweet

I was very surprised to learn that the US military is tweeting updates from the front line, having already used Facebook and YouTube to engage audiences. Social media hearts and minds, if you will.

Personally, while I think placing longer lead-time, properly vetted material on Facebook and YouTube is to be welcomed, using Twitter is a step too far. 140 characters ‘instantly’ is not an appropriate length for a briefing of the significance of the combat. Does tweeting bypass the proper channels of communication, tweeting battle updates before you brief the media? Are they going to be even-handed and admit losses of personnel as well?

Also, doesn’t it open the US military up for a whole Twittersphere-full of abuse from its critics? (Diverting to conspiracy theory mode, maybe that’s what it’s for, to build up a list of the US army’s political opponents?).

If you’re interested, this is where you can follow US operations online:

• U.S. military on Facebook,: http://tinyurl.com/nz3xam
• U.S. military on Twitter,: http://www.twitter.com/usfora
• U.S. spokesman on Twitter,: http://www.twitter.com/gregjulian
• U.S. military on YouTube,: http://www.youtube.com/usfora

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