Twitter’s threat to our purity of essence

Time to dust off those old jokes about “military intelligence” being an oxymoron. Andres “Technollama” Guadamuz comments on a US intelligence briefing (PDF) on the use of Twitter and other social networks by terrorists.

The report provides a brief summary of how Twitter works, whose liberal use of capitalisations and quotation marks as linguistic tongs suggests a certain distaste for the phenomenon:

What makes Twitter unique is that the member can send Tweets (messages near realtime) to Twitter cell phone groups and to their online Twitter social networking page. They can also Mashup their Tweets with a variety of other tools including geo coordinates and Google Maps or other electronic files/artifacts. Members can direct and re-direct audience members to other websites and locations from “Tweets” and can engage in rapid-fire group social interaction.

What really astounded me, though, was the list of ne’er-do-wells and malcontents who are described as using Twitter for their sick and perverted ends:

Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences.

That is a truly terrifying insight into the “military intelligence” worldview. Atheists, vegetarians and “religious communities” put alongside communists, anarchists and “human rights groups”. Wow. All it needed was “water fluoridation proponents” and we’d have the full set.

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8 Responses to Twitter’s threat to our purity of essence

  1. Phil Walker says:

    For balance, it should be noted that water fluoridation opponents can also be a little bit muesli.

    I note the list also misses out pacifists and conchies.

  2. paul bowman says:

    That’s funny. Seems kinda low level to me, though. I’m not part of the military or the ‘intelligence community,’ but they’re major employers in the Washington/Baltimore area, and like a lot of people around here I have acquaintance through family/friends. Always my impression that there’s reams of reports & paper discussion & so on circulating in that world. My own take is it’s doubtful a doc like this represents a very senior view of matters — though I could be mistaken.

  3. John H says:

    Paul: that would be pretty much my assumption, too. I also find myself wondering if MILINT had inadvertently hired someone with a satirical frame of mind. An ironist in military intelligence: how… ironic.

  4. Rick says:

    We need to ban cell phones, altogether. Just think of what the Jonestown cult would have done with them. They would have texted, “free koolaid party everyone invited.” Why, absolutely EVERYBODY would have drunk the kool-aid, and we’d all be dead! That needs to be prevented.

  5. Thomas says:

    I’ve had enough of you hippies and commies and religious types! Now you have us all a-Twitter. Later, later, I can see it, later you’ll pervert our precious bodily fluids, and then roll in with your tanks and your collectivism and your bad socialist realist fiction about vegan priests working for Greenpeace – enthusiastically, no less! – while subliminally warping us with religious atheism! The horror! The horror!

  6. John D says:

    I can no longer sit back and let these network members “socially interact” with one another to impurify our precious bodily fluids. And to think we had almost achieved Purity of Essence/Peace on Earth!

    I hear the Twits are now making a vegetarian Mashup of grain alcohol, fluoridated municipal water, and communism…

  7. rpg says:

    So, if I get this right, true-blooded goddamn Yankees don’t Twitter? Even those who are ‘politically enthusiastic’?

    McCarthy would have loved it. Got a Twitter account? “Un-American!”

    Hee hee. It’s got to be satirical. Has to be. I notice scientists aren’t on the list. Damn. Must try harder.

  8. rpg says:

    Actually, reading the report, it sounds like they’ll want to ban Twitter use for members of the Armed Forces…

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