Regular readers will remember my blog post a few weeks back about the Daily Mail, which ran with a bogus story about Rihanna's Armani lingerie campaign being named "the sexiest ads of 2011" by Advertising Age.
It turns out that story was made up wholesale by a husband-and-wife press agency, never fact checked, and never corrected after it was shown to be a fiction. No matter; it got scads of page views and lots of pickup, just as this story is getting.
SWNS editor Andrew Young insists the story is accurate, so I'll take him at his word. The bigger issue is surveillance of social media -- a real and growing phenomenon.
New Scientist reports on an RFI (request for information) the FBI posted earlier this month, looking for a tool that would automatically scan social media and "open source" news sites for anything that could prove useful to law enforcement. Per New Scientist's Jim Giles:
The bureau's wish list calls for the system to be able to automatically search "publicly available" material from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for keywords relating to terrorism, surveillance operations, online crime, and other FBI missions. Agents would be alerted if the searches produce evidence of "breaking events, incidents, and emerging threats".
Agents will have the option of displaying the tweets and other material captured by the system on a map, to which they can add layers of other data, including the locations of U.S. embassies and military installations, details of previous terrorist attacks, and the output from local traffic cameras.
Yes, bro, big brother is watching your tweets, updates, and so on, which virtually guarantees more people will be wrongly accused and possibly detained, with or without a Miranda warning.
Still, if you are planning to destroy your liver (if not this country) or commune with the bones of dead celebrities, best keep it to yourself, eh?
Should the feds be watching how we tweet? Post your thoughts below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article, "You have the right to remain silent on Twitter," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.