Soldiers warned about Twitter and Facebook use

The Ministry of Defence is preparing a campaign to warn services personnel and their families of the danger of revealing sensitive information on social networking sites.

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The launch – called “Think before you…” – aims to provide military personnel with guidance on how to use social media sites without putting themselves or others at risk.

The internal communications campaign is in response to details of operational events, ship, aircraft, and troop movements and home addresses being inadvertently revealed online. Last year the MoD said ten staff had been disciplined for disclosing confidential information via social media.

The multi-channel campaign will roll out across social networks such as Facebook and YouTube and in military training materials and publications. It will also feature on the British Forces Broadcasting Service and Garrison Radio.

The MoD says that service personnel will be the primary audience of the campaign but it expects there will be a “ripple-effect” to families and veterans.

Major General John Lorimer, the chief of defence staff’s strategic communications officer, says:
“We are not here to gag people, because we acknowledge the ubiquity and significant benefits that social media offers to people and the MoD.

“But the MoD has a responsibility to warn personnel of the risks that they could be exposing themselves to, hence the launch of this new campaign.”

The MoD’s main networks block access to social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

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