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Old 04-09-2016, 09:42 AM
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Default New York City to spend $1M a year on social media monitors


City to spend $1M a year on social media monitors
By Chris Perez
April 8, 2016 | 11:02pm

The mayor’s Office of Emergency Management plans to spend up to $1 million a year to hire a company to monitor social media — for emergencies.

Officials will appear at a public hearing next week to discuss the proposed contract between the agency and Dataminr Inc. to sift through hundreds of thousands of tweets and other online posts to find problems that need to be addressed.

The maximum amount that would be spent is $3 million over three years.

“This tool will help the city to more quickly identify areas affected by an emergency and assess critical public needs to connect New Yorkers with resources like food, water, and essential city services,” said agency spokeswoman Nancy Silvestri.

But City Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn), who chairs a committee to assist Hurricane Sandy victims, said he believes the funds could be put to better use.

“We need to get our priorities in order, and I’m not sure spending millions of dollars monitoring Facebook and Twitter cuts it,” he told The Post.

Silvestri argued the contract could save lives.

“It’s easy to sit back and say this is a job that anyone can do — that you can pay somebody to sit there and scour social media for emergencies. But that’s simply not the case,” she said.
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