How Social Media Has Become A Strategic Asset For Special Operations Forces

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Photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres

Intelligence has always been critical for mission success, that’s nothing new. But, how and where the information comes from is changing, especially with the rise of social media. Expanding upon past policies for intelligence gathering on foreign citizens, United States Special Operations Command intends to build new data-mining tools capable of pulling large chunks of information from predetermined sites. The plan is to better provide special operations forces the information that will help improve their effectiveness in the field.


Retired Army Col. Stuart Bradin, who worked for SOCOM, said: “It would great if we could use social media to Positively ID (PID) someone. Accuracy matters. So social media tools that can help would be a great capability.”

Needless to say, this new data mining technology stands on very shaky legal ground, though that hasn’t stopped it from being researched by the department of Defense.

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Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email james@taskandpurpose.com with your story.

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