How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel

juggjugg Regular
edited November 2011 in Spurious Generalities
Wow I will delete all of my social media accounts now.
How stable is China? What are people discussing and thinking in Pakistan? To answer these sorts of question, the U.S. government has turned to a rich source: social media.
The Associated Press reports that the CIA maintains a social-media tracking center operated out of an nondescript building in a Virginia industrial park. The intelligence analysts at the agency's Open Source Center, who other agents refer to as "vengeful librarians," are tasked with sifting through millions of tweets, Facebook messages, online chat logs, and other public data on the World Wide Web to glean insights into the collective moods of regions or groups abroad. According to the Associated Press, these librarians are tracking up to five million tweets a day from places like China, Pakistan and Egypt

From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.



  • jehsiboijehsiboi Kanga Rump Ranga
    edited November 2011
    Lol sounds like any other office ... Everyone on facebook trying to pretend theyre working
  • RemadERemadE Global Moderator
    edited November 2011
    It's a shame as this comes as no surprise to me. The sad thing is, most Tweets in the West are just idiots retweeting what their demi-God Lady Gaga or whoever else says.
    I'd facepalm so hard that I'd have a permanent bruise on my face if I ever had to look at a snapshot of world mood via Social Media

    "Hey Jeff, turns out 13,000 people purchased a banana today"
    "Oh my word, Gordon! We must...feel fucking sorry that they have to broadcast that"
    *both laugh hysterically at how menial said banana fans lives are*
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