Ireland’s Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has issued a controversial tender for firms that can supply it with social media monitoring services.
As reported by the Journal.ie, whoever wins the contract will monitor keywords on social media platforms and provide analysis in email updates or digests.
While it’s not clear exactly what will be monitored or how it will be reported, the initiative has raised concerns among privacy campaigners.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties said it could have a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression, while Digital Rights Ireland questioned whether it was legal.
News of the social media monitoring plans actually emerged from a wider tender that the Irish Government put out that also required print and broadcast media monitoring.
It’s thought the contract will encompass up to 6,500 articles per month, split between 4,500 from print media and 2,000 from digital media.
Journal.ie says print media analysis will be provided in a digest each morning and digital media updates will be provided at regular intervals throughout the day.
The broadcast media service involves providing email updates showing the relevant coverage on all national, regional, and local radio and television stations across Ireland.