The CIA spends all day on Twitter and Facebook, just like you. And they're using them to keep the president and government officials informed of world events. What does the #4wordsbeforesex trending topic mean for the American People?
The AP today reports on the CIA's Open Source Center, which monitors Facebook, Twitter and blog chatter to figure out what's going on in the world. They analyze up to 5 million tweets a day, which might sound a lot, but that's just less than half of Justin Bieber's 14 million followers tweeting once. They use the information gleaned from social networks to measure sentiment about the U.S. around the world, and follow events on the ground in realtime.
But given that 90 percent of information on Twitter is false, you've got to wonder what kind of reports this Open Source Center is producing. And the AP says the center's analyses are presented to the president "in one form or another, almost every day."
ADVISER: Mr. President, disturbing news from our CIA team monitoring Twitter. Will Ferrell has died in a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps. According to our team, it's... trending.
OBAMA: Dear God.
ADVISER: Wait—-Mr. President. This just in: Jackie Chan has also died in a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps.
OBAMA: Nuke Switzerland.