Loose Posts Sink Ships?

Okay there’s something lost in the translation (like the memorable rhyme) and maybe we need a contest that achieves the same thing, but the there’s a point to all this.

I see the door opening more and more as I work with companies all over the world. Only it’s a revolving door at the end of a hallway lined with rules and regulations. In the following story, those rules make sense. The world and human nature really hasn’t changed that much – we still have the nasty four horsemen – conquest, war, famine and death (and all their foot soldiers too!). We just have a lot of new toys that let us connect with each other and share knowledge in new and faster ways.

And sometimes that knowledge needs to be not shared. That’s the conclusion that companies (and in this story the Military) have come to. If they can’t stop the tsunami of social media (and they can’t – here’s one for you Ayatollah) then they can at least lay down a number of rules of engagement on the social media virtual front.

My Dad used to tell me that “… every carrot has a stick.” If Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest are the carrots, then watch your posts and tweets, since you may get stuck with the stick.

Want to Know When the Israeli Army Will Knock Down Your Door? Check Facebook

BY Kit EatonWed Mar 3, 2010

Facebook

You know when your boss has a quiet word with you about using Facebook on company time? That’s nothing compared to the hell an Israeli soldier is now in: He Facebooked details of an upcoming IDF raid. And forced its cancellation.

“On Wednesday we clean up Qatanah, and on Thursday, god willing we come home” is part of the offending text posted by the un-named soldier on his Facebook status update. He also revealed the particular Israeli Defense Force unit that would be heading into this particular West Bank village to arrest suspected militants, as well as the time it would take place. His Facebook friends reported him to the authorities (after all, what’re friends for?) and he’s now been relieved of duty. The operation, completely unsurprisingly, had to be called off.

Quite apart from the shocking complacency and arrogance exhibited by the guy in question, the incident once again underlines how easy it is to overshare information using all the instant-access, real-time social tools we’re all becoming familiar with. And the timing of this news couldn’t be more ironic: Just the other day the Pentagon officially adjusted its policy on warfighters and officials using social networks–essentially permitting everyone to use apps like Facebook or Twitter. But commanders do retain authority to cut off Net access at key moments–such as before an attack is due–to prevent accidental leakage of information.

What’s really needed of course, is an awareness campaign much like the iconic ones used in wartime Britain to remind people that careless talk can reveal information to the enemy. The phrases are so far into the public consciousness they’re still in occasional use now: “Loose lips sink ships”.

[Via Haaretz.com]

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Filed under Social Media, Social Media Smarts

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