Danger Room just broke that the DoD will almost certainly block Twitter, Facebook, and all other social networking sites on its networks.
The ban is all-but-certain, military officers and civilian employees say. Many are upset, because after years keeping the social networks at arms’ length, the armed services appeared to be finally embracing the Web 2.0 sites. The Army recently ordered all U.S. bases to provide access to Facebook. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has 4,000 followers on Twitter. The Department of Defense is getting ready to unveil a new home page, packed with social media tools…
People started working with these social networks “before we got a handle on how to use them in the context of the Department of Defense,” a Stratcom source says. “Now, they’re just too big of a headache.”
“For the first four or five months there, I kept working through the system to get permissions to allow us to blog, go on YouTube, play with Facebook,” he said. “I wanted to engage in these social media forums, and you just couldn’t get access to them on your military computers.”
But Caldwell met with red tape everywhere he turned — until he mentioned his frustration to Casey, now Army chief of staff, during one of Casey’s monthly visits to the Combined Arms Center.
“He looked at me and said, ‘Just do it,’” Caldwell said. “And when I asked him if this meant he was giving his permission to do this, he said, ‘Absolutely.’ He said, ‘We have got to change the culture of the Army, and you can help make this happen.’”