More Gov’t Data Mining: EPA to Track Keywords About the Flu on Twitter

Monday, January 27, 2014
By Paul Martin

Melissa Melton
Monday, January 27, 2014

A new solicitation on the government’s Federal Business Opportunities website involves a five-year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study trolling Twitter with algorithms for keywords about the stomach flu:
The Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) located in Cincinnati, OH is requesting a BPA to purchase Twitter messages based on search criteria EPA provide the vendor. The information gather will then be used to compile cause and affect analyses for research. The following example search terms are considered evidence of AGI:
Stomach flu, stomach bug, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
The solicitation document goes on to say that these Twitter messages, “will be evaluated by U.S. EPA human health specialists to determine if they are indicative of AGI.”

Because the agency used the phrase “human health specialists” — plural with an ‘s’ — that means that multiple people over at the EPA will be employed to sit around and analyze Tweets with the words “vomiting” and “diarrhea” in them.

That will be their job.

The Rest…HERE

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