enter image description here

This has been floating around social media recently.

If it's not something you recognize it's a play on Loose Lips (might) Sink Ships which was utilized as American propaganda during World War II. On the bottom is a claim that the Defense Security Service created it.

The earliest reference I could find was an article with the same title on newmediastudies.nl in 2010. It references the Navy Command Social Media Handbook

The earliest Handbook I could find was from 2012 and does not feature the image.

The only way I can connect the image to dss.mil is through a link on their front page to Security Toolkits at Center for Development of Security Excellence under resources at Security Posters. Both sites are official sites of the DSS, they claim on a banner on top -

enter image description here

As you see, it's not a secure connection and neither is 'www.dss.mil', which also arises my suspicion.

I don't imagine the US government would specifically endorse or condemn a private service like Twitter. Additionally the logo for Twitter isn't exact and is not identified as a registered trademark.

So, is this a real production or is it a clever emulation that has been incorrectly identified as being produced by the US government?

  • 18
    "I don't imagine the Department of State would specifically endorse or condemn a private service" They're not condemning the service, but the use of said service from military personnel.
    – Federico
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 15:28
  • 11
    Perhaps someone put it on twitter in hopes the POTUS would see it there.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 21:16
  • 1
    "As you see, it's not a secure connection and neither is 'www.dss.mil', which also arises my suspicion." Several public-facing DoD sites are not HTTPS, because most commercial web browsers do not include DoD root CA certificates by default. A secured site in that case would cause the browser to emit scary warnings and not actually display anything. If you're working with DoD secure sites often, you just download their root CA certs and add them to your browsers (search for DISA InstallRoot).
    – Ti Strga
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 19:56
  • 4
    BTW, it's not just a theoretical threat army.mil/article/75165/Geotagging_poses_security_risks
    – vartec
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 22:26
  • 2
    I've never seen that poster specifically, but it's very typical of the DSS messaging and art style. And they've definitely specifically used Twitter and Facebook logos in other "careful how you use social media" works.
    – Alex P
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is an official product of CDSE which is a directorate of DSS which is under the "Office of the Secretary of Defense". See Department of Defense organizational chart.

There have been other similar products from various DoD organizations:

enter image description here

The above image was a US military product, published in Air Force 'Loose Tweets' slogan warns of social media dangers Stars and Stripes, 20 August 2015:

"Loose Tweets Destroy Fleets” — the Air Force’s twist on the famous World War II slogan, “Loose Lips Sink Ships” — is meant to remind servicemembers to guard what they share on social media, particularly given recent threats by Islamic State sympathizers.

U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s online message last week from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, included a photo of a fleet of F-16 fighter jets parked on a runway. It was accompanied by a story reminding airmen “there is sometimes a fine line between letting your friends see what you’re up to and providing an adversary critical information about your connection to the military and its mission.”

The AFCENT article speaks directly to the threat posed by Islamic State supporters, who on at least two occasions have acquired and posted online personal data of military personnel, urging followers to attack Americans in the States and overseas in retaliation for the air strikes.

As social media keeps evolving and there’s more and more avenues to let your friends and family know what you are up to, those same avenues can be used by ISIS sympathizers, ‘lone wolves’, to track down and hurt our military members outside the safety of the base,” AFCENT’s Force Protection chief, Capt. Jonathan McDonald, was quoted as saying. He used an acronym for the Islamic State.

Most recently, a group calling itself the “Islamic State hacking division,” posted the names and identifying information such as email addresses and phone numbers of some 1,400 former or current military and diplomatic personnel who worked in the United Kingdom, according to London’s Sunday Times. Most of them were Americans, though much of the information was believed to be outdated.

Air Force tips to post smartly include the use of appropriate privacy settings and checking with a supervisor before posting anything work-related; also encrypting email about work missions, using a secure phone line and shredding important documents.

The “loose tweets” catchphrase is not new, having been adopted earlier by the Navy and Army.

Before the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt deployed earlier this year to support airstrike operations in Iraq and Syria, the ship reminded sailors on Facebook to “Remember: Loose Tweets Sink Fleets.” Sailors were told to be aware of what they’re posting, what hashtags they’re using and what security settings are enabled. The Army used the phrase even sooner. In December 2013, U.S. Central Command tweeted the same message, linking to a U.S. Army online story about social media usage titled: “Loose lips still sink ships, loose tweets sink fleets.”

  • 38
    So the campaign pre-dates the current POTUS-use of Twitter. Thanks for answering, already, my natural follow-up. Commented May 25, 2017 at 17:05
  • 13
    This isn't a new problem. Israeli Defense Forces had a couple of high profile scandals when soldiers social-media-exposed secret info. Russian soldiers social media posted photos that geotagged them as being inside Ukraine (Donetsk etc...) despite Moscow's official denial of any russian troops there.
    – user5341
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 13:10
  • @user5341 Russia can just blame it on a glitch in Twitter's system.
    – user64742
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 2:05
  • 2
    @TheGreatDuck They can, but nobody with any common sense would believe them.
    – Pharap
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 7:30
  • @Pharap true. Then again maybe twitter is just trying to create strife. XD
    – user64742
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 19:30

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