The Treasury Department has started collecting and occasionally republishing the public's agency-related social media posts in order to gain a better handle on public sentiment.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the date Treasury began the social media initiative.
Next time you tweet about the Treasury Department, chances are good the agency will not only read and analyze what you wrote, but republish it.
Late last month, Treasury announced a new program to collect posts published via social media or its website that relate to the agency.
The program is expected to help the agency keep tabs on public sentiment related to its programs or initiatives and further its engagement with citizens, according to a June 24 Federal Register notice.
The agency also expects the tweet-tracking to help publicize agency initiatives.
For example, Treasury is currently working on redesigning the $10 bill and says it intends to base its decision in part on public feedback. It has started publishing the public’s social media posts pertaining to which notable woman should be on the new bill.
“The $10 bill should portray Harriet Tubman because she was an awesome leading abolitionist! #TheNew10,” Twitter user Leigh Bond said in a July 7 tweet, which was published on the Treasury website.
The department will aggregate posts by examining Treasury hashtags and other social media identifiers, according to its website.
“In this manner, social media will enable Treasury to interact with the public in effective and meaningful ways,” the notice stated.
Treasury may share the public’s posts with the National Archives and Records Administration and congressional offices, according to the notice. It may also share posts with contractors for purposes related to organizing or analyzing posts.
The information collected by the agency will be kept in a secure system, and only certain staff members will be able to edit and remove it, according to the notice. If Treasury suspects its website is compromised, it will alert all parties who could be affected, according to the notice.
The tweets collected have been deemed “temporary records” and will likely be destroyed after one year.
The agency has invited the public to comment on the program by July 24. Treasury says it may make adjustments based on the feedback it receives.
(Image via Frank L Junior/ Shutterstock.com)