Journal article

The Australian Defence Force’s umbrace of [un]social media

10 Oct 2016

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) still does not know what it wants to use social media for or, perhaps more importantly, how to use it in support of operations. It is struggling to understand who is responsible for this ‘thing’ that has captured everyone’s attention. Social media content is more rigorously managed than the delivery of traditional weapon systems. Social media transcends the clearly defined boundaries of an Area of Operations. It pushes well beyond what tactical and operational commanders would consider their Area of Interest. It has no boundary between domestic audiences, the international population and the adversary, making distinctions in the roles of various information-related capability specialities born of the Vietnam era absolutely blurred. For most ADF personnel, accessing social media content from their work stations is not even possible. Corporately, social media is seen as time wasting and a security threat. By hesitating, the ADF has ceded a crucial conduit to the information environment (a construct—perhaps unsurprisingly—that does not exist in current Australian doctrine).

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