According to The Guardian, the United States military is preparing to launch its own slightly insidious, PR campaign via social media. Apparently, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) is contracting out new software firm Ntrepid to develop what they refer to as an “online persona management service”.
In essence, this system will create profiles that host false personas, employed for the sole purpose of commenting and engaging social media users in a pro-American fashion. So besides operating two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military will be going after Facebook comments tweets in order to persuade people to accept its pro-American sentiments.
Moreover, each of these reported personas manages up to ten separate user identities; if one does the math then that means that 500 new profiles will be floating around the Twitterverse, Facebook and the blogosphere, keeping a look out for possible unrest and swooping in to persuade otherwise. For now though, the system is apparently targeted at non-English sites and profiles as a means to counter violent anti-American sentiments overseas.
However, be aware that this initiative is costing the taxpayers (therefore you and I) $2.76 million in new defense spending. While the reasoning behind this program may be sound, the potential for misuse is both apparent and relevant.