Mastriano deletes social media profile pictures after US military warning

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Doug Mastriano’s campaign has deleted the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s social media profile pictures in his US Army uniforms after learning they violated a Department of Defense policy, a spokesperson said. army word.

The images showed Mastriano on Facebook smiling in a uniform and beret, and in camouflage on Twitter. Pittsburgh’s NPR station WESA-FM announced it was pulled last week.

Mastriano, who served as a strategic intelligence officer in the military for 30 years, has incorporated his military experience into his political career.

But the use of these and other photographs showing Mastriano interacting with Afghan orphans or posing with other soldiers violated armed service restrictions on the use of such images. images in political campaignsArmy spokesman Matthew Leonard told the Capital-Star on Monday.

“Any military information posted by a military member who is not on active duty must be accompanied by a conspicuous and clearly posted disclaimer stating that neither military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the army,” Leonard said.

Profile photos on Mastriano’s campaign pages on Facebook and Twitter had been replaced Monday afternoon with an image of Mastriano in fatigues captioned “Afghanistan 2006.”

The image includes a partially cropped disclaimer on the Facebook page. Mastriano’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Leonard said the military was contacted by a member of the media about Mastriano’s use of the footage. In a report on Monday, WESA-FM said it asked the military last week whether the footage violated Department of Defense policy.

“The Army contacted Mr. Mastriano’s campaign and informed them of the rules for use of images contained in the DoD directive and Army regulations. For now, the case is closed,” Leonard said.

Leonard did not respond to a follow-up question about whether the new footage with the disclaimer is successful.

Mastriano, a state senator from Franklin County, served in the military from 1987 to 2017, retiring as a colonel and serving in combat zones including the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

His campaign’s use of social media has been criticized for its association with the alt-right Gab site and its founder Andrew Torba. The site, to which Mastriano paid $5,000 for consulting services, has been criticized as a haven for white supremacists and anti-Semitic speech.

Mastriano has since deleted his Gab profile and issued a statement distancing himself from the racist and bigoted statements of his users and founder.

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