Shortly after the third presidential debate, the secret service made a not-so-secret announcement to the world that it was looking very closely at any suspicious activity or threatening messages sent on Twitter. And they want your help.
Tweeting from @SecretService, the Secret Service has made it clear that anyone sending threats to those under their protection will be very closely scrutinized.
The LA Times reports that less than 24 hours after the third presidential debate, the Secret Service launched a new initiative: detecting threats via Twitter.
The @SecretServivce Twitter account sent the following tweet just after the debate:
To report a tweet that concerns you, call the nearest field office in your state. 1.usa.gov/VzrtsV
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) October 23, 2012
And they followed up with a similar one on Wednesday morning.
These tweets sparked a renewed @SecretService Twitter account, which had been dormant since June.
The LA Times spoke with Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan about their new plan to monitor Twitter, learning that the agency is keenly interested in monitoring conversations on Twitter:
“We’re not an intelligence agency – we’re consumers of information. We cast a wide net for information, and that includes law enforcement agencies, federal agencies and the general public.”
Despite the fact that they’re collecting this information on social media, they don’t want people to necessarily alert them via Twitter – calling a field office with threatening tweet in hand is preferred.
As of Wednesday, no reports have actually been filed in one of their offices.
Do you think this is a smart initiative? Or is it too intrusive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
(Secret service image via Shutterstock)