Social media ‘risk’ to ADF image – Smith

Social media ‘risk’ to ADF image – Smith

By , May 09 in blog with 0 comments

Smith thumb Social media risk to ADF image   SmithDefence Minister Stephen Smith says the use of social media by Australian Defence Force members could put the ADF’s reputation at risk.

The defence minister’s warning came a day after charges were laid against a former ADF member over the setting up of a gay-hate Facebook page.

Mr Smith on Friday announced an external consulting company would head a review into the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, in light of ADF values.

The social media review is part of a raft of studies looking at the defence force, including the use of alcohol and leadership opportunities available to women.

Mr Smith said the review would raise awareness among ADF employees that the information they share on social media often becomes public.

‘That which people (post on social media), which becomes public, particularly if they are representing Australia or representing the ADF, potentially can have seriously adverse consequences,’ he said.

‘It’s very important that members of the ADF, whether they’re onshore or offshore, understand that at all times they are representing the defence force and representing the nation.

‘As a consequence, inappropriate behaviour, effectively, in uniform can lead to very serious reputational damage.’

A former ADF member was charged on Thursday over alleged threats to a senior army officer and creating a Facebook page which encouraged violence against homosexuals.

The review, to be led by Rob Hudson from George Patterson Y R, is due to provide an interim report by the end of July.

Meanwhile, the Independent Advisory Panel on Alcohol will examine the impact of alcohol use at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and the adequacy of current policies and strategies.

‘Often, inappropriate conduct and abuse of alcohol go hand in hand,’ he told reporters in Perth.

‘The objective here is to advise ADFA on the current organisational arrangement so far as use of alcohol is concerned and whether there’s anything more we can do or learn.’

The panel, to be chaired by Professor Margaret Hamilton, will include drug and alcohol experts as well as the Commander Joint Health, Major General Paul Alexander, and is due to report back at the end of July.

Other reviews will examine ways to improve the leadership representation rates of women in defence and the management of complaints.

The independent Inspector General of the ADF, Geoff Earley, will head the review of how incidents and complaints are managed, focusing on the treatment of victims and the relationship between military disciplinary investigations and civil or criminal matters.

‘Sometimes that inter-relationship has led to delays and lack of a timely response in those issues,’ Mr Smith said.

The reviews follow the Skype sex scandal, in which a male cadet allegedly use a live webcam to stream video of him having sex with a female cadet to his colleagues without her knowledge.

Police have since charged two other cadets with related offences.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick is heading a review into the treatment of women in the ADF and the ADFA following the scandal.


About the author

 Social media risk to ADF image   Smith Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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