CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – Members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit have confirmed that they will be conducting a deployment to Facebook to stop a flame war.
MEU commander Col. James Christmas told reporters he had received a warning order from U.S. Cyber Command yesterday evening and that Marines should be prepared to deploy immediately to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
Christmas also said that the 22nd MEU will be evacuating thousands of Internet Displaced Persons or IDPs, fleeing Facebook for other social media sites. Both MySpace and Google+ have offered to take the refugees, claiming they have “plenty of space available.”
Although Christmas reiterated that the mission would be “strictly a peacekeeping operation,” deploying Marines to Facebook is unprecedented and will come with numerous challenges. The first task will be creating a defensible base of operations, tentatively dubbed “Firebase Zuckerberg,” followed by establishing reliable supply lines for necessities like vehicles, ammunition, and baby wipes.
Regarding the difficulty of emplacing military supply lines in a foreign theater, Christmas remained optimistic, adding that he had “full faith in the ability of Navy Logistics to get what’s needed where it’s needed, when it’s needed, at least 75 percent of the time.”
The MEU has already instituted advanced web navigation courses for junior officers, to avoid “the unlikely event that a platoon leader ever becomes lost.”
It has also received multiple interpreters, who will help them decrypt the various and often confusing languages commonly found online: LOLSpeak, 1337, ALLCAPS, and others.
One volunteer interpreter, who, as a teenager, grew up mostly in The Internet, claims her first language is not English, but rather, “aLtErNaTe CaPs,” a nearly-undecipherable codex not yet taught at the military’s Defense Language Institute.
The flame war broke out on The Duffel Blog’s Facebook page earlier this week in response to the satirical article, “Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim and I Will Not Follow His Orders“. It was quickly picked up by Examiner.com, a news site that is basically a low rent version of Ebaums World.
Although initial posts were limited to readers complaining about The Duffel Blog not being as funny as it was nine months ago, within hours the number of posts had exploded to encompass the 2012 election, 9/11, the global Zionist conspiracy to cancel Firefly, and the incorrect pronunciation of Sergeants Major.
Social media experts worry that without prompt intervention the flame war could easily spread to Flickr, Twitter, Tumbler, and YouTube. Some experts were even liveblogging about a “nightmare scenario” where the flame war could spin out of control: jumping to the Drudge Report, the regular Internet, or even a cable news outlet.
The 22nd MEU has been serving as CYBERCOM’s theater-level reserve for the past two months. During this time it has provided support for cyber-security operations and Internet cooperative efforts, such as last month’s battalion-wide editing of the Wikipedia article on Gangnam Style.
At the time of the alert it was in the middle of Operation HAND-WARMER, a multi-week exercise on YouPorn.
Duffel Blog Investigative Reporter Dirty also contributed to this report.