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Vengeful Librarians use Social Media monitoring for predictive security


published December 26th, 2011 | categories: Social Media | all categories

Virginia, U.S. Echelon Facility - Image courtesy Google Maps http://g.co/maps/hwa8n

Increasingly, social media applications like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus are being used to propagate global messages and provide insight to potential events. Located in Virginia, The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) houses employees to monitorup to 5 million Tweets per day. At the CIA’s Open Source Center, “vengeful librarians” monitor social media, newspapers and other internet activity that might hint at local, regional or global security trends. The Center’s Director, Doug Naquin stated that “The center had started focusing on social media after watching the Twitter-sphere rock the Iranian regime during the Green Revolution of 2009, when thousands protested the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power. “Farsi was the third largest presence in social media blogs at the time on the Web.

Analysts, scientists and data hounds are turning towards social media to take the social temperature of the world. A recent study shows that Twitter users have mood swings, just like anyone else.

Looking at the complete time series, we see that after a gradual upward trend that ran from January to April, 2009, 1the overall time series has shown a gradual downward trend, accelerating somewhat over the first half of 2011. We also see that average happiness gradually increased over the last months of 2008, 2009, and 2010, and dropped in January of the ensuing years.

Social media is an important tool in determining moods, detecting security trends and more importantly, gauging the world’s perceptions. It surprises me that so much data are available on social media, when we are seemingly more concerned about privacy and who knows what about us. Learn more about the CIA’s Open Source Center.


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