Watch Out, The Fed Might Be Reading Your Tweets

The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, has announced a social media plan that would include keyword and sentiment analysis on Twitter. So if you’re badmouthing their money-management skills, they might just tune into your feed.

A “Request for Proposal” from the Fed was uncovered recently which apparently seeks a service-provider interested in coming up with some pretty serious analytical tools for the bank to use on social networks.

Specifically, they’re looking for a business that can provide them with a “Sentiment Analysis And Social Media Monitoring Solution” which will “identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers” as well as continuously monitor all conversations related to the Fed online. In other words, they want to be able to identify those Twitter, Facebook and other social media users who are influential about the Fed – whether in a positive way or negative. And you can bet those who are influential in a negative manner will be the first to hear from the massive bank.

The plan is to develop a massive social listening platform that can instantly assess the sentiment of all related conversations:

“Social media listening platforms are solutions that gather data from various social media outlets and news sources. They monitor billions of conversations and generate text analytics based on predefined criteria. They can also determine the sentiment of a speaker or writer with respect to some topic or document.”

Sentiment analysis would allow the Fed to pinpoint those who are speaking positively of the bank, and perhaps use their words as promotions around the web. Conversely, it will also enable the Fed to find those who are more negative towards the bank.

Criticism of the Fed is nothing new, as its high profile as the central bank of the US attracts a lot of (often negative) attention. However, soon they’ll actually be listening in on the criticism, via Twitter.