Zev Porat

Thursday, October 17, 2013


It is being reported all over the internet that the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) recently began a study financed by the National Institutes of Health  that will ascertain “population level depression monitoring” through the social media site. Cost to taxpayers:$82,800.

 Young seeking mental health support / AP

Wording in the grant says:

 “We propose using twitter and [Natural Language Processing] NLP as a cost-effective and flexible approach to augmenting current telephone- based surveillance methods for population level depression monitoring,”

 "Major depressive disorder is one of the most common debilitating illnesses in the United States."

 “Developing these algorithms and resources will provide the bedrock for building social media based surveillance systems,”

 Don't Worry - We are from the Government and we are here to help you!

 It is being reported that the "government monitors" will also engage with depressed individuals on Twitter directly. Oh yeah, that's gotta be good!  What could go wrong with this program?  By the way - is it a CRIME to be depressed?  Why does the government need such information on you?

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