While reading this article, I was really amazed by how much US Navy embraced social networks.
Over 90 documents relating to Navy social media use were made available online that give a window onto recommended military security practices for popular services and how naval culture squares with the anarchic world of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. More importantly, it also reveals how the Navy keeps tabs on sailors via social media.
In one case, the Navy shared a poster of sexual assault prevention tips on their official Facebook page at the request of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office. The poster was a repurposed graphic that the Navy copied from Slutwalk Austin’s Facebook page.
The idea was to intentionally spur a debate among Navy personnel on sexual assault and to bring discussion of the topic into a semi-public forum. According to the Navy’s own report, “many thought [the poster] was funny, ‘dumb,’ or a joke, others were outraged, a few recognized the tone and intent” and Navy social media personnel managed the resulting comments thread. They moderated the discussion, noted how sailors treat discussion of sexual assault online and attempted to keep a respectful tone. In one case, the thread even uncovered what appeared to have been the sexual assault of a former sailor.
I wish more companies and organizations did the same.