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New List Helps FBI Figure Out WTF is Up With “Twitter Shorthand”


If you think you can hide your criminal activities from Big Brother using a little Internet slang, think again.

The FBI now has a list of “Twitter shorthand” designed to help agents decode the world of online slang. The 83-page document, put together by the Intelligence Research Support Unit, contains 2,800 entries ranging from the obvious (WTF, BRB, LOL) to the obscure (PDBAZ – ‘please don’t be a zombie’). The intro to the document suggests to agents that it may also be useful “for keeping up with your children and/or grandchildren.”

Muckrock, an organization which helps release US government data to the public, obtained the document via a Freedom of Information request and made it available here. FBI agents may be able to use the list to bust someone who is NIFOC (‘naked in front of computer’) watching CP (‘child pornography’), or selling a FOFO (‘.44 caliber gun’). Drug references like XTC (‘ecstasy’) or SAB (‘smoking a blunt’) are also spelled out for agents, and criminals may start to realize that SIW (‘someone is watching’).

Hopefully, the list will also keep the feds from having a SOHF (‘sense of humor failure’).

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