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DOD Releases Policy Outlining Principles of Official Social Media Use

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The Department of Defense has released a policy that outlines the core principles of social media use across the Pentagon to ensure transparency and proper dissemination of information while maintaining trust in the credibility of the U.S. military.

The policy, titled “Official Use of Social Media for Public Affairs Purposes,” provides departmentwide guidance that specifically addresses the use and management of official DOD social media accounts to maintain the professionalism of online posts and interactions, the Pentagon reported Monday.

Official DOD social media posts must be accurate, appropriate, timely, delivered in the proper tone and approved for public release.

“Social media has an effect on every one of our service members, civilians, contractors and their families — whether they run an official account or have never heard of Twitter,” said Andy Oare, director of digital media for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

According to Oare, the policy is not intended to be restrictive or prescriptive, “but rather to lay out some commonsense rules that simply have not been formally articulated at this level.”

The policy applies to the OSD, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the military services and combatant commands as well as other DOD offices and agencies.