@ISAFmedia, the official Twitter account of NATO forces in Afghanistan was, until very recently, mocked as an example of an organization using Twitter very poorly. @ISAFmedia’s tweets were wooden summaries of press releases and the account manager didn’t interact with other Afghanistan war tweeters. All of that changed in the fall of 2011. Here’s a snapshot of what @ISAFmedia is tweeting now.
Clarifying security reports in Kabul.
|“ ||Alarms sounding on ISAF HQ compound are scheduled, routine training exercise.|
|“ ||I wondered so - RT @ISAFmedia: Alarms sounding on ISAF HQ compound are scheduled, routine training exercise.|
|“ ||On explosion reports: Word is that booms were ceremonial cannon fire by Afghan officials. Reinstated noontime tradition.|
Refuting Taliban reports.
|“ ||ISAF helicopter shot down in Paktia province’s Wazi Zadran district at 09:00 am today. All onboard killed, wreckage still lying in area|
|“ ||Acc to Taliban tweep @ABalkhi, a NATO helicopter was shot down earlier 2day in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.No reaction from @ISAFmedia yet|
|“ ||@yannikouts He’s lying, as usual. There was a hard landing. No shootdown. All aboard are alive and safe.|
Engaging journalists and researchers.
|“ ||ISAF press conference on recent UN report on violence in Afghanistan beginning now.|
|“ ||Jun-Aug 2011: Enemy attacks 17% lower than in 2010.|
|“ ||@ISAFmedia Lower in the number of occasions? Or gravity? What is the reference?|
|“ ||@jfkorn Will try to post link to fleshed-out stats as soon as they become available.|
|“ ||@ISAFmedia I understand :). Keep up the flow of information, appreciate it. Looking forward to the whole data package.|
|“ ||@jfkorn Will do. Many, many PowerPt. slides right now. Impossible to synthesize them into 140 chars.|
|“ ||Diverging narratives in #Afghanistan. UN: violence up 39%. @ISAFmedia RapidResponse: “inconsistent with the data we have collected”|
|“ ||@ISAFmedia Where do ISAF, UN stats differ? Enemy-initiated attacks? Attacks in general?|
|“ ||@starbuck_woi Differences come down to categorization. For instance, UN counts “potential or attempted” attacks.|
Flame-warring with the Taliban tweeters.