U.S. Navy releases new Social Media Handbook

“Re-verify our range to target… one tweet only”
Captain Marko Ramius

Yesterday, the U.S. Navy publicly released its new social media handbook. The updated guide, embedded, below provides sailors with a guide secure use of Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the networked world.

“The rapid growth of social media platforms and technologies have flattened and democratized the communications environment in ways we are just beginning to comprehend,” says D. J. Moynihan, Navy chief of information, in the introduction. “Social media is an effective channel to communicate relevant, aligned and targeted information to the stakeholders that we want to reach, including some we have had a hard time reaching before. As with the advent of other communication technologies – phone, fax, websites – we must exercise caution to use these tools safely and effectively, and we must educate our Soldiers and families to do the same.”

This handbook should make for good weekend reading. As I thought about what it means to have more sailors online, I couldn’t help but recall an apt mock WWII propaganda poster by Brian Lane Winfield Moore: “Loose tweets sink fleets.”

WWIII Propaganda: Loose Tweets Sink Fleets

Steady as she goes, gentleman. You don’t have to sit in a crow’s nest to see the need to take care with the new media platforms.

UPDATED: The L.A. Times called the Navy’s new social media policy “required reading for political campaigners.” Craig Howie compared these new rules of engagement for a virtually enhanced battlefield to the campaign front. The metaphor is probably inevitable in this heated election season, and given the advice in the handbook, useful.

About Alex Howard

Alexander B. Howard is a DC-based a technology writer and editor. Previously, he was the Washington Correspondent at O'Reilly Media, where he covered the voices, technologies and issues that matter in the intersection of government, technology and society. If you're feeling social, you can follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or circle him on Google Plus In addition to corresponding for the O’Reilly Radar, he has contributed to the Huffington Post, Govfresh, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, National Journal, The Atlantic, CBS News and Forbes. He graduated from Colby College with a bachelor's degree in biology and sociology. Currently, he is a resident of the District of Columbia, where he lives with his greyhound, wife, power tools, plants and growing collection of cast iron pans, many of which are frequently used to pursue his passion for good cooking.

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