One Thing To Do Today: If one must use Social Media, follow Army Rules

TL;DR: The military knows it can’t prevent it’s soldiers from using social media. It doesn’t even want to. But there are rules to learn from (PDF).

So, Kim Kardashian was targeted and robbed at gun point based on her social media feed. Regardless of what you think of her and the extended clan, no one deserves that.  Thieves can also target more humble home owners based on various types of checkins, as demonstrated in the now defunct PleaseRobMe and  WeKnowYourHouse.  Potential employers can discover things it would be illegal to ask in an interview.  Bad jokes can be taken out of context. I care more about the potential for stalking, but protestors should be concerned about meta aggregators like Imagine a government being able to roll into a neighborhood because of “heightened unrest,” shudder.

None of this will stop us. Even though we know it will only take one jackass to ruin the party, we still show up, hope in hand, on the chance of finding something meaningful.   The military knows how vital sharing with loved ones can be. Even with their life and death concerns, they don’t ban social media outright. They’ve created guidelines for geotagged social media (PDF) use, including with detailed settings (PDF) for Facebook.  Follow them.

On other platforms? Twitter settings can keep a tweet from being geotagged, but that doesn’t help if the picture or text do the revealing.  Consider time shifting public tweets about being out and about, or going private. Too many Social Media sites exist to list them all by name, but check them all.  Of course no privacy settings prevent data shared with these site from being visible to employees, officials with authority and advertisers, so Beyoncé Rules still represent a better standard.  Do what you can. Baby steps.

Leaving social media, or even limiting its use, can feel like giving up. Millions of people have found that leaving has improved their life.  I can’t make this decision fro you, I won’t judge. Just do your best to make sure you’re only sharing what YOU have chosen to share, with the who you’ve intended to share it.




I make things that do stuff. The best, though, is teaching others to do the same. Founder of @crashspacela Alum of @ITP_NYU

2 thoughts on “One Thing To Do Today: If one must use Social Media, follow Army Rules

  • January 2, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    hey there – the link to the army’s rules is broken. It is pointing to a local file (file://) not one that is accessible from/to the web (http://). Just FYI.


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