New battleground? PH soldiers get social media training
MANILA, Philippines – Be cautious in in accepting friend or follower requests. Do not post field assignments of personnel. Only pre-approved posts for public viewing should be posted. Don't reprimand subordinates on posts!
In the selfie capital of the world, soldiers, too, are all over Facebook. But those selfies in the jungle may be giving away troop locations to enemies, and those rant posts are putting the military in a negative light.
It's time to set the ground rules.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday, July 11, held its first social media summit to issue guidelines on social media. This follows the release of the Philippine Army's Social Media Handbook.
"'Control' is not the appropriate term. It’s just managing and balancing between the need for secrecy and transparency as well. We have internal guidelines in the use of social media," AFP chief General Emmanuel Bautista told reporters.
Bautista added: "Social media is a reality. We need a balance between transparency and the use of social media with the requisites of holding the confidentiality of information that will compromise the performance of our mission."
When are soldiers most encouraged to post? When they're doing civil-military operations.
One of the speakers in the summit is former interior secretary Rafael Alunan, co-convenor of the West Philippine Sea Coalition. It is a group that mobilizes Filipino netizens to protest the aggressiveness of China in disputed waters.
Alunan encouraged soldiers to use social media to inspire patriotism but cautioned them from posting sensitive information. (READ: Use Facebook to correct China's 'fairy tale,' Filipinos urged)
"They (soldiers) should maximize it in terms of morale welfare, informing their public about deaths, news reports, and weather reports. They can even use it for philanthropic causes, educating internal audience like their sons and daughters, employment opportunities," Alunan said. – Rappler.com