Last week, the U.S. Air Force released a “counter-blogging” flow chart, which encourages members to “fix the facts” and “share success” in the comments section of blog posts critical of the U.S. government and the armed forces. The chart also includes “response considerations,” such as disclosing the Air Force connection, citing sources, and “respond(ing) in a tone that reflects highly on the rich heritage of the Air Force.”
In many respects, this move reflects a broader shift in government to embracing new media and the blogging culture that has sprung from it. According to Wired, the Air Force has been the slowest of the military branches to embrace bloggers as a force to contend with; the Army holds “bloggers’ roundtables” with military leaders and civilians and the Navy invited bloggers to accompany personnel on a humanitarian mission.
Ironically, airmen will have little chance to follow these guidelines if on base, because almost every web address including the word “blog” is banned from Air Force networks.