Allow me to be the first to welcome our Lebanese Armed Forces to Twitter. The video below was the first tweet, in a remarkable move by the often traditional institution, one of the only institutions most Lebanese trust and have faith in.
Their handle is @LebArmyOfficial, and I am excited they finally decided to join the online community, and here’s why.
Quick Dismissal of Dangerous Rumors
The mainstream media in Lebanon is a hired one. The rumors they spread, and often create, to serve their political agendas can be toxic in a highly polarized and divided society like Lebanon’s. The Public Information office, Mudiyet El Tawjeeh, often takes some time to put rumors to rest and set the record straight, because often, it was a press release sent to the media, instead of directly to the Lebanese taxpayers.
Of course, they have their reasons and need to protect information for national security concerns. However, I believe the public should stay informed by its military, and I have hopes this account is the beginning of that dialog between us, the taxpayers, and our servicemen and servicewomen.
Successful TMC and ISF Twitter Accounts
The @LebISF and @TMCLebanon success has been undeniable. It made the inaccessible Internal Security Forces a tweet away, and created engagement and a back and forth with taxpayers that I would have never imagined would happen in Lebanon. Granted that the success in cyberspace hasn’t been duplicated in the real world, at least not as much as we expect, but it’s still something.
Good Luck and Stay True
We hope the Army account won’t do mistakes like release names or pass verdict on cases that have not gone to court yet, like the ISF account does sometimes. We also hope it doesn’t deteriorate into meaningless propaganda like most of the politicians’ accounts. We hope it will help fight the war against extremism and terrorism, and make the institution that is the last hope for many Lebanese, more transparent and closer to the average citizen.