The extent to which governments can compel digital and telecommunication services providers to hand over data has become the source of renewed controversy since former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaked a trove of classified documents to media outlets earlier this year.
Twitter gave a lesson to government workers on how to work the social media website to its full advantage, including how to tweet breaking news and how lawmakers can affect policy change through the site. The social media platform issued detailed guidance, saying Twitter alerts provide vital information to the public during fast-moving situations and also gives the public insight into how government works.
U.S. government requests for user data from Google rose 29 percent in the first half of this year compared to the second half of 2012. Google's latest transparency report says that the U.S. government requested data 10,918 times in the first half of 2013. That figure has increased for every six month reporting period since Google began releasing the statistics.
A Twitter account's number of followers does not tend to correlate strongly with the degree of public engagement, said Jed Sundwall, a consultant who helped develop the federal social media registry and the USA.gov social media presence.
As the federal government reopened Oct. 17, agency and department websites went back online and new media and public affairs officials took to social media to announce their return.
Donations increase signiﬁcantly after politicians adopted Twitter, but the donations are primarily from outside their constituencies, with little increase from within their constituencies, finds a paper published Sept. 10 in the Government Information Quarterly.
In the first half of 2013, Twitter saw a 15 percent increase in government requests for user information compared to the second half of 2012, and a 36 percent increase in government requests for user information year-over-year, according to the company's latest transparency report.
A study finds a correlation between candidate name mentions on Twitter and election outcomes, a finding study authors say persists even when controlling for other variables such as media coverage, incumbency, district partisanship and demography.
The Postal Service could better engage customers by utilizing blogs and other social media and analyzing customer comments, an Aug. 1 USPS inspector general report (.pdf) says. The Postal Service's social media presence includes 18 social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Governments have been known to rely on mobile and social data in disaster response, but new research highlights the inaccuracy of Twitter location data. "Content passed through Twitter remains decontextualized unless we find ways to reattach it to geography," write researchers from Oxford University's Oxford Internet Institute.