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Social media use is everyone's responsibility

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Air Force Space Command recently allowed Air Force Network access to Internet-based social networking systems such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Air Force has recognized the advantages of the capabilities that social media sites and other Internet tools have in distributing information, which offers new ways for government employees to communicate and conduct business.

Although these social media websites are permitted on government computers, Airmen and Department of Defense civilians are reminded of their responsibility to protect sensitive information, ensure our network is secure and avoid revealing any information that could cause harm to our Air Force resources, said Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the Air Force Space Command commander.

"All Airmen must take appropriate operational security measures and remember that we are all bound by the Joint Ethics Regulation," said General Kehler. "Commanders and supervisors must do their part by providing good leadership and oversight to ensure all personnel conduct themselves professionally; and ensure each Airman understands their personal responsibility to observe applicable rules of engagement for appropriate social media use."

With more websites now available on the Vandenberg Network, users are encouraged to contact the Vandenberg Public Affairs Office at 606-3595 for any questions concerning social media use. All network users will take direct responsibility for what they post online.

"Every Airman is a spokesperson for the Air Force," said Jeremy Eggers, the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs chief. "By engaging in social media, our Airman touch audiences that are great in number and rich in diversity. They're telling a story here - their story - and in the same sense they are telling the Air Force story. They put a face and a name to the triumphs and challenges of serving in today's military. Use it. Embrace it. Give your opinion. At the same time, though, be mindful of operations security and protecting your own privacy."

The rules of engagement for social media use:

According to AFI 35-113, Internal Information, Chapter 15: Social Media, Air Force personnel using social media and Internet-based capability sites must abide by the following rules:

· All Airmen must abide by certain restrictions to ensure good order and discipline. All actions on and off duty are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

· Airmen should use their best judgment, remembering that there are always consequences to what is written and all Airmen will take direct responsibility for what they post online.

· Do not post any defamatory, libelous, vulgar, obscene, abusive, profane, threatening, hateful, racially, ethnically, or otherwise offensive or illegal information or material.

· Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner.

· Do not use any words, logos or other marks that would infringe upon the trademark, service mark, certification mark, or other intellectual property rights of the owners of such marks without the permission of such owners.

· Do not post classified or sensitive information.

· Do not post any information that would infringe upon the proprietary, privacy, or personal rights of others.

· Do not forge or otherwise manipulate identifiers in posts in an attempt to disguise, impersonate, or otherwise misrepresent their identity or affiliation with any other person or entity.

· Identify to readers of a personal social media site or post that the views expressed are yours alone and that they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Air Force. Use a disclaimer such as: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Air Force positions, strategies, or opinions."

· Airmen discussing issues related to their career field or personal experiences is acceptable, but they should not discuss areas of expertise for which they have no first-hand, direct background or knowledge.

· Airmen must tell the truth and identify themselves.

· A link from an Airman's personal/social site to an Air Force website such as Air Force Link at is acceptable.

Online Training Tools and Official Guidance

Online Training Tools:

· National Operations Security Program -- OPSEC and Social Networking Sites Safety Check list:
· DoD's Social Media Hub:

· U.S. Strategic Command's Social Network Training site:

Air Force and DoD Guidance:

· AFI 35-113, Internal Information, Chapter 15: Social Media:

· AFI 33-129, Web Management and Internet Use Guidance Memo:

· AFI 35-107, Public Web Communications:

· AFI 33-200, User Responsibilities and Guidance for Information Systems:

· AFI 10-701, Operations Security (OPSEC):

· Joint Ethics Regulation 2-301-Use of Federal Government Resources:

· Air Force Guide, New Media and the Air Force:

Official Air Force Sites:

· Air Force's Official Social Media Directory: