So, everyone who anyone knows all about LT G’s blog being shutdown (as an aside, his fiancee has taken up the cause).
It’s caused quite the controversy in the blogosphere as to what members of the military should and should be allowed to say.
Opinions on the LT G issue range from “He violated the rules of posting, so down he goes” to “He was just voicing his opinion, which he should be allowed to do as an American” and everything in between.
It brings up a good issue though. There’s a lot of people blogging out there, and a distinct lack of an Ernie Pyle to tell the story of the American soldier to the public. But how much should the soldiers be allowed to tell the public themselves?
I’ve intentionally tried to not talk about anything I’m directly related to on this blog. I’ve also avoided commenting on policies I may or may not agree with.
The boys over at Castle AARGH! have a good post on the subject.
I blog openly. My bosses know I blog. As in high up in the company they know I blog. Several of them read the blog, on occasion. I don’t blog the job, the company, or the people I work with. Oh, I leave hints about where I am or what’s going on around me – but never details about the people, and certainly not about what the client has paid for. That’s theirs, not mine. I have frustrations with the job, sure – but you don’t read about ’em here. You don’t read about work personalities here. Just like you don’t read about the stuff I like about the job, or the people I like that I work with. That’s simply a minefield.
And Cassandra has an enormous post/reply thread going on at Villainous Company wherein they discuss the dichotomy between blogging in the real world and in the military world, and the similarities / differences therein.
It does not matter, really, whether you agree with the DoD regulations on blogging. Your personal opinion on military regulations is undoubtedly interesting to your mother, but essentially irrelevant to the performance of your job.
Discuss it, if you wish, on your own time. But the fact of the matter is that as long as the regulation is in force, it must be obeyed and if you do otherwise than to urge any military person to comply with a military regulation, you are behaving in a highly unprofessional manner. If you are doing this on your blog, especially using distainful and/or profane language, and you cannot understand why DoD is less than thrilled about Milbloggers, you are encouraging insubordination.
All good points, truly. But where do you draw the line? Posting opinions about your direct superiors is not a good thing, but LT G had done it in the past and nothing had happened. In fact, they had reviewed the post and allowed it. Granted, the previous posts weren’t as scathing in their wording, but the posting that caused his blog removal wasn’t necessarily a denouncement of the capabilities of his superiors as it was a voicing of his desire to not join their ranks. So the question that begs is, what was so different about this post?
The obvious answer is that it wasn’t routed through the chain of command the way it was supposed to be. Ok. Fine. But why eliminate what was arguably one of the most popular blogs from the front, and therefore, by default, a great PR tool for the Army?
The real question becomes, what is the worth of the military blogger in terms of getting the true story told to the American public, and is it worth the inherent risk of the occasional post that won’t toe the party line?
I’d seriously like to hear what everyone else thinks about this topic.