DHS looking to set up journalist-tracking database

The Department of Homeland Security is shopping for a contractor to track and analyze the output of almost 300,000 news outlets worldwide, checking for which ones distribute fake news and influence world events.

Bloomberg Law learned of the DHS search through a Freedom of Information Act filing that was returned on April 3. The chosen contractor will be tasked with compiling a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents and bloggers spread over about 290,000 news organizations to spot those possibly with an unusual amount of influence.

The contractor would look at almost every type of news site including local, national, international, social media, trade and industry publications to find “any and all” coverage related to the agency or specific events, Bloomberg said. Some of the information to be searched for is geolocation, top posters, language, story momentum and circulation. This data would then be run through a tool, created by the chosen vendor that would run various comparisons.

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