Marines update social media policy amid nude-photo sharing scandal

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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller testifies at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Marines United social media controversy, March 14, 2017 on Capitol Hill.  JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES
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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller testifies at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Marines United social media controversy, March 14, 2017 on Capitol Hill. JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

Marines update social media policy amid nude-photo sharing scandal

by: Corey Dickstein | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: March 21, 2017

WASHINGTON — Marines who act illegally or immorally on the Internet will be punished, according to the Marine Corps’ new social media policy released in the wake of an illicit-photo sharing scandal.

Punishments could include charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller wrote Friday in a message to all Marines.

Neller’s message included an updated social media policy, which was originally released in 2010 but made no mention of criminal consequences for online actions.

“Marines must never engage in commentary or publish content on social networking platforms or through other forms of communication that harm good order and discipline or that bring discredit upon themselves, their unit or the Marine Corps,” Neller wrote in the message. “In other words, Marines should think twice before engaging in questionable online activities, and must avoid actions online that threaten the moral, operational readiness and security, or public standing of their units, or that compromise our core values.”

Neller cited specific examples of UCMJ charges that Marines could face for posting “commentary and content” that defames, threatens, harasses or discriminates against others. He added such conduct could additionally violate state or federal law or expose servicemembers to civil actions.

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