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The IDF’s blog campaign

July 13, 2010

During my recent trip to Israel, I had the opportunity to talk to a young IDF officer who was assigned as a spokeswoman/public relations specialist for one of the IDF’s commands. I told her about Stephanie’s recent post on the Gaza flotilla raid and how the Israeli Foreign Ministry quickly tweeted a response to Stephanie about the post. She told me that there is a new effort by both the Foreign Ministry and the IDF to respond rapidly to information that pops up on the blogosphere. Within each IDF command, there is a separate section within the public information branches that monitors blogs and facebook sites to “correct” distorted information. She said most of these sections are staffed by young officers in their early twenties who have grown up with blogging and Facebook.

Of course, the extensive use of Facebook by young officers can also cause problems for the IDF.

More later…

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Jon Western has spent the last fifteen years teaching IR in liberal arts colleges at Mount Holyoke College and the Five Colleges in western Massachusetts. He has an eclectic range of intellectual interests but often writes on international security, U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, and human rights. He occasionally shares his thoughts about professional life in liberal arts colleges. In his spare time he coaches middle school soccer, mentors the local high school robotics team, skis, and sails.