After informally utilizing Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to communicate their message quickly and without news media restrictions, the US Military will begin officially dispersing information via these channels later this week. Military spokesperson in Afghanistan Col. Greg Julian was quoted as saying “There’s an entire audience segment that seeks its news from alternative means outside traditional news sources, and we want to make sure we’re engaging them as well.” (You know, I have heard the exact same thing.)
US officials have long expressed a perceived disadvantage in less traditional forms of media, frustrated with what they deem propaganda from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives in the region. Incidents involving the deaths of US troops or civilian casualties in the region are often initially misreported and often inflated, and US Military social media efforts are aimed at readers worldwide to combat misinformation quickly and efficiently.
Troops are also being encouraged to share photos, stories and other bits of information that illustrate daily life in Afghanistan.