The Department of Homeland Security is apparently hiring people who can create a database of journalists, bloggers, and influencers. The data to be compiled apparently includes a publication’s “sentiment” among other factors such as languages, momentum, and circulation. The job posting, which first came to the attention of the public via Bloomberg Law has sparked a twitter frenzy over fear that this is yet another attack on the free press by the Trump administration:
In todays edition of how I can be like Putin…@realDonaldTrump ordered The DHS to compile a list & monitor professional journalists & “top media influencers,” which includes bloggers & podcasters.
If I don’t post anything for 3 days someone call Bob 😐https://t.co/ioUHe2ZHcM
— UnsilentMajority 🌹 (@The_UnSilent_) April 6, 2018
Yeah, there’s nothing creepy about DHS mapping out the sentiment scores of journalists and bloggers, domestically and globally. https://t.co/rfIUzNmydx
— Molly McKew (@MollyMcKew) April 7, 2018
The DHS has of course since pushed back on this stating the following:
Despite what some reporters may suggest, this is nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media. Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists. https://t.co/XGgFFH3Ppl
— Tyler Q. Houlton (@SpoxDHS) April 6, 2018
It’s been no secret that the current president isn’t a big fan of the mainstream media sources or any media pertaining to the realities of the world. While, this is a bit alarming to some degree, I would call myself surprised if they didn’t have something like this in place already. The DHS starting to build this database today, just seems a bit inefficient considering the other security organisations (CIA, NSA etc) probably already have something similar in place with the advent of the Patriot Act.
I guess if the DHS really doesn’t have something like this already, it really shows how little intelligence is shared between the various branches of bureaucracy. To be honest, I’m not sure whether this mission to build a database and the consequent job postings are amusing or worrisome.