Elite Military Personnel Banned from Social Media

[ Photo of U.S. Navy SEALS demonstration by Charles McCain, creative commons license. ]

The U.S. government doesn’t want Navy SEALS using Facebook and Twitter because it fears terrorists could target them for potential assassination through social networks, an elite soldier in the military told LAUNCH.

This ban follows the deaths of 22 SEALs and 8 other U.S. Armed Forces personnel when a Chinook helicopter was shot down last Saturday.

Officials from the United States Special Operations Command, which is in charge of units like the Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces units, did not want identities of these soldiers disclosed because of security concerns, according to the Washington Post.

However, the Pentagon has since decided to release the names

LAUNCH has asked the Navy about its policy regarding SEAL participation in social media networks but has not yet received a response.

Al Queda and Taliban jihadists are banned from Facebook and censored on YouTube but have used Twitter to promote or reveal terrorist violence, the Washington Times reported in April. The U.S. Army warned of "terrorist tweets" in a draft report that became public in October 2008.

In the past, the military has limited or blocked access to websites soldiers often use to communicate with their friends and families while on deployment. But in February 2010, the Pentagon changed its stance and said the benefits of social media outweighed any security concerns.