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EU Armed Forces' Use of Social Media in Areas of Deployment

[journal article]

Hellman, Maria; Olsson, Eva-Karin; Wagnsson, Charlotte

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v4i1.336

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Abstract The advent of social media can be seen both as a risk and an opportunity by armed forces. Previous research has primarily examined whether or not the use of social media endangers or strengthens armed forces’ strategic narrative. We examine armed forces’ perceptions of risks and opportunities on a broad basis, with a particular focus on areas of deployment. The article is based on a survey of perceptions of social media amongst the armed forces of EU member states, thus adding to previous research through its comparative perspective. Whereas previous research has mainly focused on larger powers, such as the US and the UK, this article includes the views of the armed forces of 26 EU states, including several smaller nations. In analyzing the results we asked whether or not risk and opportunity perceptions were related to national ICT maturity and the existence of a social media strategy. The analysis shows that perceptions of opportunities outweigh perceptions of risks, with marketing and two-way communication as the two most prominent opportunities offered by the use of social media. Also, armed forces in countries with a moderate to high ICT maturity emphasize social media as a good way for marketing purposes. (author's abstract)
Keywords EU; military; soldier; information brokerage; information policy; information-seeking behavior; deployment overseas; military presence; military intervention; media; deployment; utilization; digital media; online service; online media; social media
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; Interactive, electronic Media; Impact Research, Recipient Research
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 51-62
Journal Media and Communication, 4 (2016) 1
Issue topic Peacebuilding in the Age of New Media
ISSN 2183-2439
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution