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The Fed Wants to Be Your Facebook Friend

Wednesday, 28 Sep 2011 | 11:52 AM ET
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Loic Venance | AFP | Getty Images
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The Federal Reserve is planning on monitoring what you say about it on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

As first reported on Zero Hedge, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is soliciting proposals from developers for a "Social Listening Platform" that will monitor "the primary social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube."

The Fed also states the "Social Listening Platform" to "Handle crisis situations, "Continuously monitor conversations," "Identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers," and that the software "be able to aggregate data from various media outlets such as: CNN, WSJ, Factiva etc."

The Fed is requesting that all information is provided in real-time and that "sentiment analysis" be a central feature of the developed software.

In other words, the Fed wants anything said about it on a social platform to be categorized as "positive, negative or neutral."

Although the Fed claims its move into the social realm is so that it may bettermonitor its public perception, some of the paranoids of the blogosphere are screaming Big Brother.

"Said otherwise, the Fed has just entered the counterespionage era and will be monitoring everything written about it anywhere in the world," Zero Hedge writes.

The Economic Collapse blog goes even further.

In other words, the Federal Reserve wants to develop a highly sophisticated system that will gather everything that you and I say about the Federal Reserve on the Internet and that will analyze what our feelings about the Fed are. Obviously, any "positive" feelings about the Fed would not be a problem. What they really want to do is to gather information on everyone that views the Federal Reserve negatively. It is unclear how they plan to use this information once they have it, but considering how many alternative media sources have been shut down lately, this is obviously a very troubling sign.

The Fed is looking to launch its new monitoring software, appropriately named the Sentiment Analysis And Social Media Monitoring Solution, in December of 2012, according to the Fed's request for proposal.

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