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Big Brother Watch? US Navy Seeks to Create Archive of 350 Bln Social Media Posts

CC0 / / Monitoring
Monitoring - Sputnik International
This is not the first time that the US government has expressed interest in gathering social media data: last April, the Departments of Homeland Security unveiled its plans to create a database to track more than 290,000 global news sources in over 100 languages.

As part of "research efforts" conducted through the Pentagon and analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, the US Department of the Navy has shared a solicitation to contractors, revealing a project to create an archive of 350 billion social media posts related to the "minimum time period" from 1 July 2014 to 31 December 2016.

"Our research aims to provide enhanced understanding of fundamental social dynamics, to model the evolution of linguistic communities, and emerging modes of collective expression, over time and across countries. As a central requirement for this research, we seek to acquire a large-scale global historical archive of social media data, providing the full text of all public social media posts, across all countries and languages covered by the social media platform", the synopsis reads.

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According to the solicitation, the data will be drawn from a single social media platform — although it does not specify which one; all records must consist only of publicly available information, and no private user data will be included.

In addition, each record in the database will be required to provide the full text of a social media post, with all publicly avaliable meta-data, including language, hashtags, country, handle, timestamp, URLs, and must be unaltered from the original content.

The department has emphasised that the data will include messages from at least 200 million unique users across 100 countries, in no less than 60 languages, with 50 percent of the messages not written in English.

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