Home News Stories 2009 May The FBI on Social Media

The FBI on Social Media

The FBI on Facebook
And YouTube. And Twitter. And More.


Over the past few years we’ve rolled out a number of new web initiatives—including an e-mail alert service, syndicated news feeds, and a series of podcasts and widgets—that make it easier for you to help us track down wanted fugitives and missing kids, to submit tips on terrorism and crime, and to get our latest news and information.

Today, we’re announcing the launch of our latest suite of tools. We’ve recently set up shop in several social media websites, including:

  • Facebook, where you can follow our news, check out our photos and videos, and become a “fan” of the FBI;
  • YouTube, where you can watch our videos and connect back to our main website for job postings and other content; and
  • Twitter, where you can receive our tweets on breaking news and other useful information.
 The FBI Facebook page contains videos and timely news updates. S
The FBI Facebook page contains videos and timely news updates.

“To reach out to the public, we need to be where people are—and we know tens of millions of people spend their time in social media sites,” says John Miller, head of FBI Public Affairs. “Adding our fugitives, missing kids, threat and scam warnings, and other information into these sites is an extension of what we’ve done for decades—enlisting the help and support of concerned citizens around the globe to keep communities safer.”

More than 350,000 iPhone users in 80 countries have downloaded the free FBI application built by NIC.


We are moving forward on other social media fronts as well.

More widgets. Our widgets have been enormously popular, and we plan to build more in the coming weeks. “Our first four widgets alone have brought more than 2.5 million people to our website,” points out Jonathan Cox, a management analyst in the Office of Public Affairs who spearheaded their development. “And our latest Most Wanted widget averages more than a thousand views a day.” The new high-end widget was built using Flash, XML, and ActionScript and can be shared virally through social media websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Blogger, says Michael Litchfield, the web developer who built it for the FBI. “I was excited to work on it and thought it was a great way to market the Bureau to a new generation.” Visit our widgets page.

Fugitives at your fingertips. A company called NIC—founded by an ex-law enforcement officer—has built a free “Most Wanted” iPhone and iPod Touch application based on our newest widget and fueled by our RSS feeds. More than 350,000 people in 80 countries worldwide have already downloaded the app since it debuted in February. “Now, NIC is building a second-generation version that will use geo-location information to enable you to easily submit tips to your local FBI office,” says Harry Herington, Chairman of the Board and CEO of NIC. It will include FBI Twitter feeds and connections to our Facebook and YouTube sites. NIC is also developing an iPhone application focused specifically on missing kids that will include Amber Alerts, pictures, and potentially live data to help law enforcement and the families of missing children.

    FBI Twitter page                                                           FBI YouTube page
FBI Twitter page | FBI YouTube page

Virtual billboards and kiosks. We’re doing pilot tests in Second Life—a free 3-D world inhabited by millions of people worldwide—for virtual billboards and kiosks that show the mugs of our Ten Most Wanted fugitives and connect people to FBI jobs, our Internet Crime Complaint Center, and the wanted posters of cyber criminals.

FBI Billboard in SecondLife
The FBI is exploring a presence on SecondLife. Jonathan Cox—along with graphic artist Scott Carmine—designed our first virtual billboards for sites like Second Life and sees them as the wave of the future. “Unlike 10 years ago, almost everyone today has had an experience connecting online through virtual media, whether through a gaming console or popular sites like Second Life,” Cox said. “The ease at which information can be transferred, ideas can be exposed, and technology can be shared in virtual worlds will hopefully lead to the arrest of a fugitive or the location of a missing child in the near future.”

Stay tuned for more information on these initiatives in the coming months.