US Govt reading your tweets..isn’t that a good thing?

A new story from the AP today reveals how the U.S. Air Force used social media sites like Twitter and YouTube to track the fallout from the whole “Air Force One Flyover PR Disaster.”

The best part of the entire article are the droll & dour comments by staffers monitoring the web, regarding their thoughts and recommendations on the “scandal”:

* “No positive spin is possible”

* “Blogs will continue to be overwhelmingly negative.”

* “Has really taken off in Web 2.0”

* “Damage control requires timely counter-information.”

* “To say the event is being beaten like a dead horse is an understatement.”

via The Air Force Is Reading Your Tweets, Watching Your YouTube Rants.

I actually think this is a great thing. That is what Twitter is FOR. The reason why someone Tweets is not simply to talk to oneself but to engage in a real-time dialogue with the world. This is only possible with a platform like Twitter which allows real-time search by subject/location/etc, and limits the information someone can provide to a couple of characters; Allowing people on the other end to process much more information(as well as respond to it) than if they were, say, following an RSS feed on a blog which might require the end-user to spend more time reading each post.

Personally I think most Tweeters would be stoked if the US government listened and responded to their concerns about the Bailout, or the War in AfPak. Twitter finally allows huge organisations to hear what you are saying, the other side of the coin is that it also means they’re listening…but I say: so what? It would be different if they we’re tapping my phoneline, but I generally use my phoneline for private things and my twitter account for public things. I tweet BECAUSE I want information/opinions to be disseminated/debated I don’t tweet because I like to read my own 140-character sonnets 😛

Of course the article also mentions they were monitoring Facebook sites as well…which is perhaps not so great for those idiots dumb enough to upload their personal info to the site…but, as they say, that’s how ‘natural selection’ works…


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