Social Media: The Government’s Tool

by Anthony T
Due to the astounding rise in the use of social media, the U.S. Government is seeking software that “can mine social media to predict everything from future terrorist attacks to foreign uprisings”. This is actually already being done by analysts, however with a software the amount of data that can be obtained would increase exponentially. THe FBI hopes to have the capability to scan through social media over the entire internet. Not only this, but social media has also become the quickest and foremost medium for communications about disasters. This has brought about privacy concerns, but the FBI has stated that it would only monitor public information and focus on words related to criminal activity. One large obstacle is the nuances of human language, whether something is a joke or is serious. Another is authenticity of the actual message. With the rise of social media there has also been a rise in bots that spam. Researchers are expecting these bots to become better in the near future.

It is very clear that the government is very concerned with what the masses are posting on social media. It makes me think twice now about posting personal information on sites such as Twitter or Facebook. It appear to me that social media is becoming the 21st century’s surveillance tool and it is being targeted to everyone.


Unknown. (2012, Feb.13). FBI Seeks Social Media Data Mining Tool. Retrieved from

4 thoughts on “Social Media: The Government’s Tool”

  1. I agree Anthony, everyone should I twice about the information that’s put on any social media site. It’s scary. Basically, if you want privacy, don’t post it.

  2. This article is really interesting because it is a topic about privacy and when you want your privacy to be invaded or not. In a way it is safe for the FBI to monitor privacy for criminal activities, so one should be careful in what they put up knowing that it might be looked up FBI.

  3. This is all just a way for the government to criminalize people who post criminal acts on the internet wether it happened or not. Sure it can help to deter criminal activity by being one step ahead of criminal plans but someone could just post that they will conduct in criminal activity but not really engage in it. We just need to be careful with what we share with others over the web.

  4. I think that this article is interesting; it seems like there is no private space in the internet at all. I wouldn’t think a terrorist would post on facebook about what kind of activity they will do, and it seems like the FBI is trying to invade the privacy to watch over people. I wouldn’t want to use the social media such as facebook or twitter if I knew that I was being watched all the time.

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