DHS wants to make a database of the “sentiment” of bloggers, journalists, and social influencers

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) / Flickr SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING...
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) / Flickr

Do you have a “sentiment” about Donald Trump? Is that sentiment pro or con Donald Trump, loyal or disloyal to Donald Trump?

If you are writing about your sentiment, talking about it in any public way, the Department of Homeland Security might want to make note of your sentiment in a database of sentiments. For what purpose? Well, to defend the homeland, of course.

April 3 the DHS ask for bids for an enterprise that could manage just such a database of the sentiments of writers, twitterers, bloggers, social influencers. You never know when such a data trove of sentiments might be useful in protecting the United States.

But what if a bad actor got a hold of those sentiments? A bad actor such as Donald Trump or data hog and miner Mark Zuckerberg? Or a new Cambridge Analytica? Worst case, what if the DHS wanted to round up all the holders of anti-Trump sentiment and put them on a train to, say, Arizona.

DHS spokesperson Tyler Houston says nothing to worry about. It’s only good.

We (Snopes) reached out to DHS to ask if media reports suggesting this was an effort to compile political information on journalists were unfounded, as well as to ask for details about how this effort will enhance national security. In response, DHS directed us to a tweet from Homeland Security spokesperson Tyler Q. Houlton, who confirmed the data collection, but stated that that suggestions of anything nefarious were in the realm of “tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists.”

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