Social Media Intelligence Paper

781 Words4 Pages
Open source intelligence based on social media in the 21st century is a vital component of the intelligence collection process. As people around the world use social media more it will become integral to the intelligence collection process. The advent of social media is significant to Military Intelligence because it provides access to literally billions of people providing information on events, people, and locations in real time at a low cost. Social media, Facebook specifically, has become one of the most successful forms of websites on the Internet. According to Facebook Company statistics (Info, 2016) there are over 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016. Additionally there are 1.09 billion daily active users for…show more content…
A second order effect of social media is content posted by users is instantaneous, allowing immediate collection for the analyst. In July 2014 when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 went down in Ukraine, the first intelligence came from social media. "The first indication of who shot it, what shot it and when and where it was shot was all social media", said Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Barnes, 2014). In the past open source intelligence collection was dependent on print media which could take days or weeks to reach its audience. As events happen, intelligence can be collected through social…show more content…
Threat groups know intelligence agencies use social media to collect. Threat groups could then post incorrect information on social media to guide collection away from their true intent. As social media is not monitored for quality control, it will become imperative for intelligence professionals to be able to check the validity of social media intelligence through other resources. Checking social media intelligence through other resources will reduce the timeliness of the reporting as validity is confirmed or denied. In conclusion social media offers billions of opportunities to collect intelligence daily. Social media allows real time intelligence collection at low cost. The downside is the validity of the intelligence needs to be confirmed, and our adversaries can use social media platforms for denial and deception. Regardless of the negatives social media offers immeasurable opportunities for intelligence collection in the near and long term if utilized properly and with an understanding of its
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