The Pentagon has updated its policy regarding extremism among military personnel.
The revised policy comes as the result of a Counter Extremist Activity Working Group established in the Spring by Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin.
Officials say the new policy does not seek to focus on any one ideology, thought, or political orientation, but to define more clearly what qualifies as prohibited extremist activity.
A report issued Dec. 20 provides a lengthy definition of “extremist activities” that range from advocating or engaging in political violence to knowingly displaying paraphernalia, words, or symbols in support of extremist activity.
This can include “liking” content on the internet, according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.
“The physical act of liking is, of course, advocating,” Kirby told reporters Monday. “And advocating for extremist groups—certainly groups that advocate violating the oath of the Constitution, overthrowing the government, terrorist activities. Liking is an advocation.”
According to the report, extremist activity can include posting, liking, sharing, re-tweeting, or otherwise distributing content—when such action is taken with the intent to promote or otherwise endorse extremist activities.