The Discord Dilemma: How the US Military Struggles with Online Recruiting and Leaks

The Discord Dilemma: How the US Military Struggles with Online Recruiting and Leaks

The US military has been using online platforms such as Twitch and Discord to attract and engage with potential recruits from Generation Z, the cohort of young people born between 1997 and 2012. However, this strategy has also exposed the military to new risks and challenges, as some service members have leaked classified documents or sensitive information on these platforms.

Discord, a popular group-chat tool that allows users to create and join servers based on their interests, has been one of the main channels for the military to reach out to Gen Z. The military runs a 17,000-member chatroom called Army Gaming Community, where service members can talk about video games, meet with career counselors and participate in what one sergeant in 2019 called the "Army of tomorrow" ¹.

However, Discord has also been the source of several leaks that have compromised the security and reputation of the military. In April 2023, The Washington Post reported that hundreds of secret documents had spilled out from Discord servers run by service members or contractors ¹. Some of the leaked documents included:

- A list of more than 1,000 names and email addresses of people who had applied to join the Army's esports team

- A spreadsheet of more than 200 Army recruiters' personal information, including phone numbers, home addresses and social media accounts

- A presentation on how to counter China's influence in Africa

- A report on Iran's ballistic missile capabilities

- A manual on how to operate a Patriot missile system

The leaks were discovered by researchers from Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), a nonprofit group that publishes leaked data online. The group said that some of the leaks were accidental, while others were intentional or motivated by whistleblowing ¹.

The Pentagon was aware of the risks posed by Discord and had warned service members about its use. In February 2023, the Defense Department issued a memo that instructed service members not to "post anything in Discord that you wouldn't want seen by the general public" ¹. The memo also advised service members to avoid using their real names, personal email addresses or phone numbers on Discord, and to report any suspicious activity or unauthorized disclosure of information ¹.

However, the memo came too late to prevent the leaks that had already occurred. Moreover, some service members said that they felt pressured to use Discord as part of their recruiting duties or to connect with their peers ¹. Some also said that they were not adequately trained or informed about how to use Discord securely and responsibly ¹.

The Discord leaks highlight the dilemma that the US military faces as it tries to adapt to the online habits and preferences of Gen Z. On one hand, the military needs to use platforms such as Twitch and Discord to reach out to potential recruits who spend much of their time online. On the other hand, the military also needs to protect its secrets and reputation from being exposed or exploited by malicious actors or careless users.

The military is not alone in facing this challenge. Other organizations and institutions that deal with sensitive information or have high security standards are also struggling with how to supervise and regulate their online presence and activities. For example, in March 2023, a former CIA officer was sentenced to 18 years in prison for leaking classified information to a journalist he met on Tinder ².

The Discord leaks also raise questions about the ethics and legality of using online platforms for recruiting purposes. Some critics have argued that the military is exploiting young people's interest in gaming and socializing online to lure them into joining a dangerous and violent profession ³. Some have also accused the military of violating the terms of service or privacy policies of platforms such as Twitch and Discord by collecting personal data or sending unsolicited messages to users ³.

The military has defended its online recruiting efforts as necessary and effective. It has claimed that platforms such as Twitch and Discord allow it to showcase its diverse and talented workforce, provide accurate and transparent information about military careers, and engage with potential recruits in an authentic and respectful way . It has also said that it follows all applicable laws and regulations when using online platforms for recruiting purposes .

The US military is likely to continue using online platforms such as Twitch and Discord for recruiting Gen Z, as it faces a shrinking pool of eligible candidates and a growing demand for skilled personnel. However, it will also have to find ways to balance its online outreach with its security obligations, as well

Source : conversation avec Bing, 16/04/2023

(1) Pentagon knew Discord offered risks and warned soliders about its use .... https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/04/15/discord-military-recruitment-pentagon-document-leaks/.

(2) The US military, which uses Twitch and Discord for recruitment .... https://www.techmeme.com/230415/p9.

(3) Techmeme on Twitter: "The US military, which uses Twitch and Discord .... https://twitter.com/Techmeme/status/1647325390577491968.

# The Discord Dilemma: How the US Military Struggles with Online Recruiting and Leaks

The US military has been using online platforms such as Twitch and Discord to attract and engage with potential recruits from Generation Z, the cohort of young people born between 1997 and 2012. However, this strategy has also exposed the military to new risks and challenges, as some service members have leaked classified documents or sensitive information on these platforms.

Discord, a popular group-chat tool that allows users to create and join servers based on their interests, has been one of the main channels for the military to reach out to Gen Z. The military runs a 17,000-member chatroom called Army Gaming Community, where service members can talk about video games, meet with career counselors and participate in what one sergeant in 2019 called the "Army of tomorrow" ¹.

However, Discord has also been the source of several leaks that have compromised the security and reputation of the military. In April 2023, The Washington Post reported that hundreds of secret documents had spilled out from Discord servers run by service members or contractors ¹. Some of the leaked documents included:

- A list of more than 1,000 names and email addresses of people who had applied to join the Army's esports team

- A spreadsheet of more than 200 Army recruiters' personal information, including phone numbers, home addresses and social media accounts

- A presentation on how to counter China's influence in Africa

- A report on Iran's ballistic missile capabilities

- A manual on how to operate a Patriot missile system

The leaks were discovered by researchers from Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), a nonprofit group that publishes leaked data online. The group said that some of the leaks were accidental, while others were intentional or motivated by whistleblowing ¹.

The Pentagon was aware of the risks posed by Discord and had warned service members about its use. In February 2023, the Defense Department issued a memo that instructed service members not to "post anything in Discord that you wouldn't want seen by the general public" ¹. The memo also advised service members to avoid using their real names, personal email addresses or phone numbers on Discord, and to report any suspicious activity or unauthorized disclosure of information ¹.

However, the memo came too late to prevent the leaks that had already occurred. Moreover, some service members said that they felt pressured to use Discord as part of their recruiting duties or to connect with their peers ¹. Some also said that they were not adequately trained or informed about how to use Discord securely and responsibly ¹.

The Discord leaks highlight the dilemma that the US military faces as it tries to adapt to the online habits and preferences of Gen Z. On one hand, the military needs to use platforms such as Twitch and Discord to reach out to potential recruits who spend much of their time online. On the other hand, the military also needs to protect its secrets and reputation from being exposed or exploited by malicious actors or careless users.

The military is not alone in facing this challenge. Other organizations and institutions that deal with sensitive information or have high security standards are also struggling with how to supervise and regulate their online presence and activities. For example, in March 2023, a former CIA officer was sentenced to 18 years in prison for leaking classified information to a journalist he met on Tinder ².

The Discord leaks also raise questions about the ethics and legality of using online platforms for recruiting purposes. Some critics have argued that the military is exploiting young people's interest in gaming and socializing online to lure them into joining a dangerous and violent profession ³. Some have also accused the military of violating the terms of service or privacy policies of platforms such as Twitch and Discord by collecting personal data or sending unsolicited messages to users ³.

The military has defended its online recruiting efforts as necessary and effective. It has claimed that platforms such as Twitch and Discord allow it to showcase its diverse and talented workforce, provide accurate and transparent information about military careers, and engage with potential recruits in an authentic and respectful way . It has also said that it follows all applicable laws and regulations when using online platforms for recruiting purposes .

The US military is likely to continue using online platforms such as Twitch and Discord for recruiting Gen Z, as it faces a shrinking pool of eligible candidates and a growing demand for skilled personnel. However, it will also have to find ways to balance its online outreach with its security obligations, as well

Source : conversation avec Bing, 16/04/2023

(1) Pentagon knew Discord offered risks and warned soliders about its use .... https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/04/15/discord-military-recruitment-pentagon-document-leaks/.

(2) The US military, which uses Twitch and Discord for recruitment .... https://www.techmeme.com/230415/p9.

(3) Techmeme on Twitter: "The US military, which uses Twitch and Discord .... https://twitter.com/Techmeme/status/1647325390577491968.

# The Discord Dilemma: How the US Military Struggles with Online Recruiting and Leaks

The US military has been using online platforms such as Twitch and Discord to attract and engage with potential recruits from Generation Z, the cohort of young people born between 1997 and 2012. However, this strategy has also exposed the military to new risks and challenges, as some service members have leaked classified documents or sensitive information on these platforms.

Discord, a popular group-chat tool that allows users to create and join servers based on their interests, has been one of the main channels for the military to reach out to Gen Z. The military runs a 17,000-member chatroom called Army Gaming Community, where service members can talk about video games, meet with career counselors and participate in what one sergeant in 2019 called the "Army of tomorrow" ¹.

However, Discord has also been the source of several leaks that have compromised the security and reputation of the military. In April 2023, The Washington Post reported that hundreds of secret documents had spilled out from Discord servers run by service members or contractors ¹. Some of the leaked documents included:

- A list of more than 1,000 names and email addresses of people who had applied to join the Army's esports team

- A spreadsheet of more than 200 Army recruiters' personal information, including phone numbers, home addresses and social media accounts

- A presentation on how to counter China's influence in Africa

- A report on Iran's ballistic missile capabilities

- A manual on how to operate a Patriot missile system

The leaks were discovered by researchers from Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), a nonprofit group that publishes leaked data online. The group said that some of the leaks were accidental, while others were intentional or motivated by whistleblowing ¹.

The Pentagon was aware of the risks posed by Discord and had warned service members about its use. In February 2023, the Defense Department issued a memo that instructed service members not to "post anything in Discord that you wouldn't want seen by the general public" ¹. The memo also advised service members to avoid using their real names, personal email addresses or phone numbers on Discord, and to report any suspicious activity or unauthorized disclosure of information ¹.

However, the memo came too late to prevent the leaks that had already occurred. Moreover, some service members said that they felt pressured to use Discord as part of their recruiting duties or to connect with their peers ¹. Some also said that they were not adequately trained or informed about how to use Discord securely and responsibly ¹.

The Discord leaks highlight the dilemma that the US military faces as it tries to adapt to the online habits and preferences of Gen Z. On one hand, the military needs to use platforms such as Twitch and Discord to reach out to potential recruits who spend much of their time online. On the other hand, the military also needs to protect its secrets and reputation from being exposed or exploited by malicious actors or careless users.

The military is not alone in facing this challenge. Other organizations and institutions that deal with sensitive information or have high security standards are also struggling with how to supervise and regulate their online presence and activities. For example, in March 2023, a former CIA officer was sentenced to 18 years in prison for leaking classified information to a journalist he met on Tinder ².

The Discord leaks also raise questions about the ethics and legality of using online platforms for recruiting purposes. Some critics have argued that the military is exploiting young people's interest in gaming and socializing online to lure them into joining a dangerous and violent profession ³. Some have also accused the military of violating the terms of service or privacy policies of platforms such as Twitch and Discord by collecting personal data or sending unsolicited messages to users ³.

The military has defended its online recruiting efforts as necessary and effective. It has claimed that platforms such as Twitch and Discord allow it to showcase its diverse and talented workforce, provide accurate and transparent information about military careers, and engage with potential recruits in an authentic and respectful way . It has also said that it follows all applicable laws and regulations when using online platforms for recruiting purposes .

The US military is likely to continue using online platforms such as Twitch and Discord for recruiting Gen Z, as it faces a shrinking pool of eligible candidates and a growing demand for skilled personnel. However, it will also have to find ways to balance its online outreach with its security obligations, as well

Source : conversation avec Bing, 16/04/202

(1) Pentagon knew Discord offered risks and warned soliders about its use .... https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/04/15/discord-military-recruitment-pentagon-document-leaks/.

(2) The US military, which uses Twitch and Discord for recruitment .... https://www.techmeme.com/230415/p9.

(3) Techmeme on Twitter: "The US military, which uses Twitch and Discord .... https://twitter.com/Techmeme/status/1647325390577491968.