At Ease, Facebook, Twitter: Soldiers Can Access You On Base Now — MySpace? Not So Much

The Army’s network administrators have stopped blocking base access to social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, as well as personal e-mail accounts, Wired reports.

The Army brass now believes such sites can be used to further the military’s cause, the story says:

An operations order from the Army’s 93rd Signal Brigade to all domestic Directors of Information Management, or DOIMs, aims to correct that. Issued on May 18th “for official use only,” the document has not been made public until now.

It is “the intent of senior Army leaders to leverage social media as a medium to allow soldiers to ëtell the Army story’ and to facilitate the dissemination of strategic, unclassified information,” says the order, obtained by Danger Room. Therefore, “the social media sites available from the Army homepage will be made accessible from all campus area networks. Additionally, all web-based email will be made accessible.”

The operations order (OPORD) doesn’t apply to all GI Bases overseas, or those run by the other armed services, which aren’t affected by the decree. Nor does the order overturn the long-standing, military-wide ban on sites like MySpace, YouTube and Pandora. And it’s almost certain some Army posts that still block the now-approved web 2.0 networks. Still, it’s a click in the right direction for the armed service which seems to be making a slow but steady recovery from its lingering hostility towards social media.

As if anyone needed another reason to stop using MySpace. But I do feel bad for the troops for not being able to learn mildly NSFW lessons about the original Commander-in-chief on YouTube.

Army Orders Bases to Stop Blocking Twitter, Facebook, Flickr [Wired]
(Photo: frankieleon)