Topics: Social Media

Secret Service seeking social media sarcasm detector

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Secret Service,Ashe Schow,Social Media

Do you fear the government misinterpreting your tweets as threats simply because of your sarcasm? (Full disclosure: That may or may not refer to me.)

Well, fear no more, because the Secret Service is looking for software that would be able to “detect sarcasm and false positives” on social media.

Of course, they also need the software to be compatible with Internet Explorer 8, so you can judge for yourself how effective it will be. Also, you should probably feel less safe knowing that the agency tasked with protecting the president, world leaders and other prominent figures is running an Internet browser from 2009 that is slow and unpopular.

Actually, that makes it the perfect browser for the federal government.

Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, told the Washington Post that the agency currently uses the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Twitter analytics but wants its own. He also said that detecting sarcasm wasn't the only thing the agency wanted in its monitoring system.

“The ability to detect sarcasm and false positives is just one of 16 or 18 things we are looking at,” Donovan said. “We are looking for the ability to quantity[sic] our social media outreach.”

There’s no details about how much the agency is willing to pay for this software, but knowing the federal government, it probably won’t cost taxpayers much. (Detect that, Secret Service.)

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