The F.B.I. is Following You (on Twitter) and Responding
BY Micah L. Sifry | Saturday, May 2 2009
For a federal agency that has struggled for years to modernize its computer systems, this is pretty impressive, and just a tad worrisome:
Sometime yesterday afternoon, a woman named Liz Thompson posted this tweet: "Roh-oh, looking at an email in my spam folder from Federal Bureau of Investigations saying, "Message from FBI." Dare I delete?"
Thompson seemed a bit surprised by the interaction, tweeting "They ARE watching," and then, in reply to two friends, "I know, kinda scary ... and wild, right? Aaand, it came in right after my Tweet. Covering up my webcam, just in case :( ."
Obviously, someone in the FBI Press Office is tracking references to the agency on Twitter and has the authority to respond, an echo of efforts in the private sector by companies like JetBlue to be more responsive to immediate complaints or issues raised by consumers. The agency is also using the service to track more serious matters, like this case of an Oklahoma man who was allegedly issuing violent threats around the "tea-bagging" protests a few weeks ago.
[A big tip of the hat to Chuck Thies, for bringing this to my attention.}