FDA seeks to up social media surveillance

The Food and Drug Administration is looking for another way to leverage social media to meet its mission needs. The agency posted a Sources Sought Notice on FedBizOpps in late February for use of social media that would give FDA another arm with which to monitor its risks in real time.

The rise of social media, particularly user-generated content, has created new opportunities to interact with the public, and FDA said it would like to act on those opportunities. The agency now seeks new capabilities to monitor how effective its ongoing risk communication efforts are, saying it needed “both historical and ‘real-time’ monitoring and analyses of a representative sample of social media websites.”

According to the notice, the objective is to provide FDA with:

• Analyses of social media that provide baselines on consumer sentiment prior to FDA communication and that depict changes in social media buzz following FDA communications;
• In-house capability for social media monitoring; and
• Surveillance through social media listening for early detection of adverse events and food-borne illness


The scope of work includes social media buzz reports, a social media dashboard and quarterly surveillance reports related to specific product classes. In addition, the contractor would provide FDA with the proper training for this program, and 24/7 access to a dashboard, which will enable FDA to create its own reports a using near real-time or historical social media data.

Responses to the notice should be submitted by March 7 to FDA.

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