File photo -Jan. 20, 2019, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) transits the Straits of Hormuz, while deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
(U. S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph Miller/Released)
The U.S. Navy wants to collect 350 billion social media posts for a massive data archive, and this will provide new insights into how people communicate online.
The Details of the project are revealed in a tender document posted by the Navy, the Navy Supply Systems Command.
In the document, the Navy said that the project is part of the ongoing research carried out by the Ministry of Defence and the Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. “Our research aims to understand the fundamental social dynamics, to model the evolution of the linguistic communities, and new ways of collective expression, over time and between countries,” it explained.
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The data will also be used for teaching purposes and to assist in the development of students’ big data analytical skills.
The Navy wants to acquire “a large-scale global historical archive” of social media posts over a minimum period of 1 July 2014, Dec. 31, 2016. “Data must consist of all publicly available posts, comments or messages sent on the platform during the specified time period,” the Navy said. The data should also include the messages of at least 200 million users in at least 100 countries, with no single country accounting for more than 30 percent of the users.
The records must consist solely of publicly available information, and the document says that there is no private communication or private data of the user are recorded. However, it does state that “approximate location information, providing self-reported user residences, or other publicly available geo-location information, should be included for at least 20 percent of the administration.”
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The information collected for the project should also be messages written in at least 60 languages, with at least 50 percent of the messages that are written in non-English languages.
Officials, however, do not specify which social media platforms will be used for the the colossal effort. Applications for the project closed on 27 May.
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The army has deep roots in the advanced online systems. The fortress-like Tor network, which stands for ” The onion router,’ started out as a military project, but now functions mainly as a highly clandestine civilian system.
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