Sept. 8, 2010
Subj: Midshipman USNA Social & Internet Media Guidance
In light of increased midshipmen desire to participate in social media sites and post imagery (videos and photographs), the following guidance is provided. The underlying intent of this guidance is that participants not discredit themselves, the Naval Academy or the naval service.
Consistent with Department of Navy policies, USNA midshipmen are free to visit and participate in mainstream social media websites and blogs (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter) and post imagery to the internet (e.g. YouTube, Flickr) as long as their comments or conduct are not unbecoming an officer and do not violate:
the Uniform Code of Military Justice;
provisions of the Privacy Act; and
Navy regulations regarding protection of operational security and classified information.
As future leaders of Sailors and Marines, midshipmen should not post imagery or comments that would cause anyone to question their judgment, credibility or competence as an officer.
While military members retain basic First Amendment rights (i.e. freedom of expression), military members are also responsible for appropriately representing the naval service. Personal actions can have professional ramifications. USNA midshipmen must always remember that they represent those Sailors and Marines on active duty as well as those veterans and alumni who have served our nation honorably.
As a reminder, while technology increasingly makes it easier to post comments, photos and other imagery, it becomes equally hard, if not impossible, to retract content once it is posted and becomes public. The unfortunate result it that videos/photos posted to these websites remain viewable for a very long time to anyone with access to the internet - including your current (and future) family, relatives, friends, fellow service members and future bosses and employers. The time to consider the propriety of content is before it is posted, not after.
Any questions concerning this guidance or any social media related issues should be referred to the USNA public affairs staff at x[redacted] or [redacted]@USNA.edu.
CDR Joe Carpenter, USN
USNA Public Affairs Officer
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Well, something good came out of this, I guess.