Social Media: The Government’s Tool{4}

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