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Israel: soldiers’ social media activity restricted under new IDF regulations

in MIDLE EAST/TECHNOLOGY by

A new IDF directive, currently in the final stages of approval, aims to regulate for the first time the way soldiers are allowed to use social media and the way they use group messaging formats, such as those with Whatsapp. The new directive prohibits soldiers and active duty officers from expressing public support online to political figures or parties. In addition, the army is banning soldiers from issuing statements of a political nature, or statements deemed harmful to the IDF, both online and in groups on platforms such as WhatsApp. With the entry into force of the new directive, therefore, IDF soldiers active on social media will be ordered to moderate their online activities; furthermore, any online activity that hurts human dignity and influences the public perception of the IDF is forbidden to them. Such conduct – as well as other online rules violations or the sharing of classified information – could lead to disciplinary or even criminal measures against them.

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