The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has made its own 83-page dictionary of commonly used acronyms or slang on social media websites such as Twitter.
Do you know what BTDGTGTTSAWIO means? FBI agents definitely know that the acronym stands for "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and wore it out."
Undoubtedly, FBI agents are always working hard to catch criminals. With crime spreading online as well, FBI agents should be up-to-date with the language used on various social media websites so that they can work efficiently. To ensure that all FBI agents understand the commonly used acronyms on the Internet, the agency has developed a dictionary full of acronyms, which will help its agents understand what people are talking about.
An 83-page FBI dictionary has been released on the website MuckRock. The list was released as part of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). On January 17, Jason Smathers requested all the documents that the FBI provides to its staff to help them understand and interpret complicated acronyms used on the Internet, which is so-called "leetspeak."
"Leetspeak (or leet or 1337, etc.) is a obfuscated form of communication where letters are replaced with numbers or symbols or unusual spellings or abbreviations are used, or a combination of these aspects. This communication is popular among hackers and may be available to computer crimes investigators or used in training them to help them read or understand communication between computer hackers," says Smathers.
The requestor had to wait for a few months before the FBI released the list to him. Smather seems to have followed up with the FBI a few times before he could get access to the requested documents from them.
"What's interesting is that the FBI is referencing Twitter in particular, considering Internet slang was around for more than a decade before the site's launch in 2006. Of course, Twitter's unique feature -- requiring users to send messages in 140 characters or less -- may have inspired the FBI to finally begin tracking this language. Though it's worth noting the document does reference Facebook and MySpace as well," per a CNet report.
The most commonly used acronyms like LOL (Laugh out Loud), OMG (Oh my God) are definitely present in the dictionary. However, it is full of other acronyms, which many of the readers may have never heard of at all.
Check out the full 83-page document with details of the acronyms on MuckRock.