recommended reading

FDA Wants to Monitor Social Media Chatter About Product Risks

Thirteen/Shutterstock.com

The Food and Drug Administration is looking for a contractor to monitor social media chatter about the drugs and other products it regulates and how that chatter shifts as a result of FDA risk warnings, solicitation documents show.

The agency is looking for a contractor that can provide historical information about the sorts of conversations consumers are having on blogs, message boards and social media sites about the product classes FDA regulates -- such as drugs, medical devices, food and tobacco -- and then track when the sentiment or volume of those conversations shifts, according to the sources sought notice posted on Tuesday.

FDA wants to track what makes those conversations spike, rise slowly or trend downward, the notice said, and to gather information about “about social media buzz volume over time, top sources of buzz, most popular forums of online discussion, most-cited news stories, major themes of discussion, sentiment analysis, word clouds and/or message maps, and a sample of verbatim consumer comments.”

A sources sought notice doesn’t obligate FDA to purchase any goods or services.

FDA has been at the forefront of agencies using Web monitoring to guide their work. In September, the agency contracted with a small company of former campaigners for President Obama to track the public response to FDA’s own social media outreach.

The agency is also using Web monitoring to find and shut down sellers of fake and knock off drugs and other products.

The General Services Administration has urged agencies to learn from social media to fine tune their services, noting that intelligence gathered from social media can help agencies deliver services more effectively and, ultimately, save money.

The White House issued guidance in July approving such social media mining programs to gain “situational awareness” so long as agencies level with the public about what information they’re collecting and why.

(Image via Thirteen/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.