The Department of State’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) operates a Twitter account titled, “Think Again, Turn Away,” which is aimed at discouraging individuals from joining terrorist organizations.
The social media campaign was created through an executive order with a $5 million budget, to be paid for by American taxpayers.
Sen. James Lankford’s (R-OK) annual report on government waste fraud and abuse of U.S. tax dollars highlights the counterterrorism communication program, arguing it “has a fancy name with a 21st century task all middleschoolers can accomplish: it operates a Twitter account.”
Lankford’s report, “Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball,” reads:
Is a $5 million taxpayer-subsidized Twitter account with no way to measure success a good investment for U.S. taxpayers? It is reasonable for American taxpayers, who fund this expensive social media project, to expect there to be metrics on what the mission is, how to define success, and who the target audience is. It is not unreasonable for State to tweet the facts about global terrorism or to work to get the truth out about the murderous thugs of ISIL. There are millions of reasons to “turn away” from terrorism, but should it really cost millions of dollars to tweet about them?
Lankford’s report suggests that there should be required metrics for these initiatives.
“This project could be beneficial, but it is up to CSCC to prove it,” the report challenges. “Tax dollars from hard-working American families should be doled out with a reasonable expectation for how the funds will be used.”