WaPo reports that the National Science Foundation is funding a project to analyze Twitter data to detect what the project researchers deem as “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” memes that spread throughout pop culture. The “social pollution” targeted includes “political smears,” “astroturfing,” and other forms of “misinformation.”
Hmm. A government-funded initiative is going to “assist in the preservation of open debate” by monitoring social media for “subversive propaganda” and combating what it considers to be “the diffusion of false and misleading ideas”? The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.
Read the whole thing.