US Troops To Get Retrained in This Key Area

US Troops To Get Retrained in This Key Area

( – Before the invention of the modern-day internet, misinformation had to make its way through the community by word of mouth. Even if inaccurate information or news came through the television, the dissemination pales in comparison to the speed across the world wide web. Add in a plethora of social media sites, and misinformation has no bounds. Now, the Defense Department (DOD) seems to be raising the alarm.

On January 24, National Defense reported that officials from the DOD are worried about the effects misinformation and disinformation have on US troops. The outlet pointed to Russian propaganda and how that seemingly motivated the country’s troops to invade Ukraine, starting a war that has been going on for nearly a year. One official claims the key to stopping such a concerning misinformation snowball is to educate troops about how to identify false intel and fake accounts.

Christopher Maier, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, said disinformation campaigns use the power of social media to spread untruthful information. This dissemination capability can cause falsehoods to spread to unsafe levels, possibly leading to unfavorable outcomes.

To combat this issue, the DOD released the instruction Official Use of Social Media for Public Affairs, which provides guidelines on how military officials should use the platforms. The directive also includes a section on how to spot fake accounts, so they can report them to the proper authorities.

Director of Digital Media for the Office of the Secretary of Defense Andy Oare said a central policy for the department was well overdue. He said everyone in the military or associated with it needs to have up-to-date guidance on how to properly navigate the information on social media as well as the platforms themselves. He said mismanagement can damage not only the “government’s reputation” but military operations and relationships at all levels.

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