The FBI learns Twitter: It’s the EOTWAWKI

FBI Twitter

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2014 —Twitter users beware: Crack FBI analysts are on to you.

The FBI opened its internal guide to Twitter shorthand and other media after a Freedom of Information Request from the website MuckRock.

According to the 83-page Twitter Shorthand manual, “With the advent of Twitter and other social media venues, the use of shorthand and acronyms has exploded. The DI’s [Directorate of Intelligence’s] Intelligence Research Support Unit (IRSU) has put together an extensive—but far from exhaustive—list of shorthand and acronyms used on Twitter and other social media venues such as instant messages, Facebook, and MySpace.”

The 2,800 terms included in the manual span the mundane to the somewhat bizarre. One of the most complicated, or at least longest, is PMYMHMMFSWGAD, or “Pardon Me, You Must Have Mistaken Me For Someone Who Gives A Damn.”

Among the acronyms defined by the manual are LFBBEG (“Looking For Big Bad Evil Guy”) and EOTWAWKI (“end of the world as we know it”).  Other highlights in the manual are IITYWTMWYBMAD (“if I tell you what this means will you buy me a drink?”) as well as tricky spy terms like SIW (‘someone is watching’) and IKWYL (“I know where you live”).

Other entries that seem strange for a law enforcement manual include ICBINB, (“I can’t believe it’s not butter,”) IGP,( “I gotta pee”), IOKIYAR, (“It’s OK if you’re a Republican”), KTBSPA (“Keep the backstreet pride alive”) and, of course, NIFOC (“Naked in front of computer.”)

The manual also contains common terms like LMAO (“laugh my ass off”), SRSLY (“seriously”), SMH (“shaking my head”) and SOIDH (“screenshot or it didn’t happen”).

Some appear aimed at British counter-insurgent efforts, such as GSTQ (‘God save the Queen”) NFN (“normal for Norfolk”), which the FBI notes is “A derogatory term used by medical doctors in Norfolk and Norwich hospital in UK for intellectually challenged patients. Now may also mean something more endearing – like quaint.”

By the way, you can find the meaning for all these (and others) by doing a simple Google search.

Your tax dollars at work.


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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.
  • jkubin

    I can only say HA!

  • Richard Brenick


  • Thor


  • Facebook User

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