Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'
Since the start of the Iraq war, there's been a raucous debate in military circles over how to handle blogs -- and the servicemembers who want to keep them. One faction sees blogs as security risks, and a collective waste of troops' time. The other (which includes top officers, like Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. William Caldwell) considers blogs to be a valuable source of information, and a way for ordinary troops to shape opinions, both at home and abroad.
This 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," offers a third approach -- co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.
Lt. Commander Marc Boyd, a U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman, says the report was merely an academic exercise. "The comments are not 'actionable', merely thought provoking," he tells Danger Room. "The views expressed in the article publication are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy or position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, USSOCOM [Special Operations Command], or the Joint Special Operations University."
Denning, a professor at Naval Postgraduate School, adds in an e-mail, "I got some positive feedback from people who read the article, but I don't know if it led to anything."
The report introduces the military audience to the "blogging phenomenon," and lays out a number of ways in which the armed forces -- specifically, the military's public affairs, information operations, and psychological operations units -- might use the sites to their advantage.
No worries, this blog is propaganda free, no military or political influence whatsoever, just me and my fellow blogists venting disgust daily.
While being observed of course.
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