Technology 3 min read

World Militaries Monitor Social Media for Security Threats Using AI

Militaries monitor social media to find security threats in Nigeria, and the U.S. looks to implement AI to simplify its own social media monitoring.

Denizce | Shutterstock.com

Denizce | Shutterstock.com

Social media is no longer just a way to connect with family and friends. World militaries are using it as a security threat monitoring tool.

Social media isn’t what it used to be a decade ago. The present applications of social media are endless. We recently covered how Facebook was being used by some scientists as a wild fire and smoke monitoring tool.

Presently, military forces around the world are figuring out ways to add social media to their arsenal of weapons for finding and neutralizing threats.

Last month, in a video interview, Major General John Eneche, Nigeria’s Director of Defence Information referred to social media as a double-edged sword.

In his interview, he mentioned there have been instances where fake videos of Nigeria’s president were circulated on social media to derail the public.

In response to such incidents, the Nigerian Army has set up a strategic media center that they use to monitor and react to posts and comments that are anti-government, anti-security, and/or anti-military.

As a result, they’re able to come out and dispell the genuineness of fake information and curb potential threats.

Militaries around the world are monitoring threats using Social MediaClick To Tweet

U.S. Considers AI For Social Media Monitoring

The Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Gen. David L. Goldfein has stated that advances in AI could help the military conduct better analysis of the information they gather from social media.

“There’s a significant amount of that data that we collect that hits the floor and we never actually look at it because we don’t have the analytical capacity” – Gen. David Goldfein

According to Goldfein, the value of analyzing social media stems out of situations like a time when it took the U.S. military one month to figure out who was responsible for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.

“We were searching for the smoking gun and we found it a month later on Facebook when we found posted pictures on Russian blog sites that actually showed the activity”

In contrast to this, it took a Bloomberg-built search engine a few minutes to populate in real time a query he made. Goldfein believes taking out the human effort is key to improving speed and efficiency of tasks like these and AI presents that opportunity.

Therefore, the U.S. Air Force will begin investing into AI tools that’ll improve intelligence-gathering in the near future.

How will the military’s monitoring of social media change its widespread use today?

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