While privacy issues surround popular social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, the DoD is now encouraging military personnel to post and tweet, thanks to a new social networking policy.

There’s "nothing more credible than someone on the front lines posting something on Facebook or Twitter," said Price Floyd, the former principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs who specialized in social media. In an article in NextGov, he continued, “DoD’s online presence went from an only inward-looking website to a robust, dynamic organization that embraced Internet-based capacity, including social media sites.”

Price, who is now vice president for digital media strategy at BAE Systems, helped to implement the DoD’S first social networking policy that allows users to access popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, as long as security isn’t compromised. The move was due in large part to the use by military personnel who had accessed social networking sites in the past, without a standard policy in place.

Now, the DoD Social Networking Hub provides a Learning and Resources intended to educate military personnel about using social media responsibly. The site includes safe social networking tips for military officials using social media, such as remembering the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). “Got a beef with your commander?” the site says. “Hate the latest DoD policy? Save it for your memoirs.”

Using social media the right way correctly is imperative in the defense industry, Price said, since military officials need to know what they can and can’t post. “Any video on YouTube is there forever,” Price said. “It’s not trying to control the message. It’s recognizing that we can’t control it."

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