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Secret Service looking for sarcasm-detecting software

Secret Service Looking For Sarcasm-Detecting Software

Oh yeah, this sounds like a great idea.

According to a work order posted online Monday, the Secret Service is looking to purchase software that will detect sarcasm on social media, among other things. (Via Federal Business Opportunities)

As you can probably imagine, this brought out every headline writer's best material. Great job, guys.

While this might sound like a joke, we can assure you it's not. These guys don't exactly look like the joking type now, do they? (Via Flickr / Chuck Patch)

The Washington Post spoke with ‚Äča Secret Service spokesperson who said the agency currently uses FEMA Twitter analytics, but wants to create its own.

"Our objective is to automate our social media monitoring process. ... The ability to detect sarcasm and false positives is just one of 16 or 18 things we are looking at. ... We aren't looking solely to detect sarcasm."

Also on the list, "the ability to identify social media influencers, analyze data streams in real time, access old Twitter data and use heat maps."

While the men in suits are easy targets for jokes - the work order said the software has to be compatible with Internet Explorer 8 for Pete's sake - Time points out "when your job is to protect the president's life and watch for potential dangers, the ability to analyze sarcasm and weed out 'false positives'-like dumb teenagers making joking threats-is probably worth the money."

But unfortunately, computers still aren't very good at detecting sarcasm in text.

A 2011 Rutgers University study took hundreds of tweets that used the hashtag #sarcasm or #sarcastic, removed the hashtag then fed the rest of the tweet through a computer program. The software identified the sarcastic tweet just 65 percent of the time.

We're guessing the Secret Service would want something a little more accurate than that, since we're talking about keeping the president alive here and all. So if you have a better program, you have until June 9 at 5pm to submit. Wow. That's soooo much time.

Join the discussion

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jebby1 June 05 2014 at 1:24 AM

What the American people should have is a liar detecting device so that whenever Obama opens his mouth the liar detector flashes a red light to indicate when he's telling another lie. PERIOD!

Flag Reply +59 rate up
16 replies
shamrock2u June 05 2014 at 2:35 AM

What a waste of money and man power, he's not worth it. He's our problem, our enemy, our nightmare.

Flag Reply +41 rate up
3 replies
Mark June 05 2014 at 1:35 AM

Hey Obama here's some sarcasm for ya...You're a DUMB-A$$

Flag Reply +37 rate up
4 replies
gkylemoore4103 June 05 2014 at 2:10 AM

Shouldn’t the secret service stick to what it does best, Detaining and interrogating hookers!

Flag Reply +35 rate up
waltergary June 05 2014 at 6:47 AM

just get a new president and the sarcasm will stop

Flag Reply +33 rate up
2 replies
kcarthey waltergary June 05 2014 at 7:10 AM

Why? Will the new President put you in jail if you use sarcasm? If it is a Republican that's sure to happen

Flag Reply +3 rate up
5 replies
mikncher waltergary June 05 2014 at 12:04 PM

Amen to that! Can't wait.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
mikncher mikncher June 05 2014 at 12:06 PM

Sorry, wrong person to post to. Obama is the idiot and I agree with the poster who said they should have a liar detector on his mouth. Only problem is that he would never get a break from the flashing lights and alarms. Wait, maybe that's a good thing.

Flag +11 rate up
ohiohikingstick June 05 2014 at 12:34 AM

Typical Obama admin role.......

Flag Reply +25 rate up
1 reply
CHRISLA ohiohikingstick June 05 2014 at 1:42 AM

its the same secret service for all pres. why is have to be an Obama thing...???

Flag Reply +12 rate up
8 replies
BRETT June 05 2014 at 6:21 AM

ask the dumbass's that wrote the health care program! That worked great!

Flag Reply +23 rate up
mark and sheri June 05 2014 at 1:48 AM

With 30 years as an LEO, having worked with the Secret Service, you have GOT to be sh-tting me. Who is running the show now? First the funny wimpy Poland work out tape, and now this? Looking for sarcasm? Just look for threatening words, dweebs. Then go check the people out. Do your jobs.

Flag Reply +18 rate up
2 replies
bdgrizcp mark and sheri June 05 2014 at 10:42 AM

The internet has opened an entire theme park of looney tunes and the shrieks are getting louder and more onerous every day. Time was they had mail and telephone threats.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
are2900 bdgrizcp June 05 2014 at 1:49 PM

Obama lover ...

Flag +1 rate up
mikncher mark and sheri June 05 2014 at 12:08 PM

I'm thinking things would be better if they DIDN'T do their jobs.

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1 reply
John mikncher June 05 2014 at 4:10 PM

Not a funny comment. I don't like the President but your comment is awful.

Flag +1 rate up
blivethopper June 05 2014 at 1:34 AM

How about using an ouija board, or maybe the Great Karnac (oops, he's dead, back to the ouija board), or perhaps a specially trained goldfish?

Flag Reply +14 rate up
1 reply
srslobod blivethopper June 05 2014 at 3:51 PM

Karnac is dead? Crap.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ram2002man June 05 2014 at 6:58 AM


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1 reply
henry_bevis ram2002man June 05 2014 at 12:35 PM

I agree that Obama is, more Dictator than a President, but there will never be a perfect system to protect anyone.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
toyviking henry_bevis June 05 2014 at 12:51 PM


Flag 0 rate up
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