A number of news agencies reported this week that the Israeli military canceled an operation to arrest Palestinian militants in the West Bank after a soldier posted details of the planned mission on his Facebook page.
According to news outlets, the unnamed soldier posted the following message:
“On Wednesday we are cleaning out the village of Katana (nr Ramallah) – today and arrest operation, tomorrow an arrest operation and then please god, home by Thursday.”
ABC News reported that “comrades in his artillery unit saw the post and reported it to their commanding officer. The officer then decided to cancel the mission for fears that operational security had been breached. The soldier was arrested and placed in custody for 10 days before being forced to leave his unit for good.”
ABC also reported this isn’t the first instance where an Israeli military mission has been compromised by a posting on a social media site.
Interestingly enough, the BBC reports that prior to this incident the Israeli military had launched “a full-scale campaign warning of the hazards of sharing military information online.” This campaign evidently included posters on military bases that show a mock Facebook page with images of Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Below the pictures reads the slogan: “You think that everyone is your friend?”
If you weren’t thinking it before, this incident should certainly raise the issue why you need to be “risk intelligent” as you, your agency and your employees move to adopt social tools more widely.