If you’re being sarcastic on the internet, the United States Secret Service wants to know about it. What a great use of taxpayer money, for a software that will definitely work. Whatever, I don’t even care.
The agency posted a work order online requesting a new analytics software that can synthesize and visually present data on thousands of social media statuses and tweets. The call for proposals was first posted on nextgov.com.
The work orders gets into a few more specifics too, going through a laundry list of features to help them more efficiently spy on people. Among them are features that analyze data streams from one second to the next, use heat maps, and identify social media influencers. And, of course, they want to have the ability to “detect sarcasm and false positives.”
Perhaps most laughably of all, they wanted the features to be compatible with Internet Explorer 8. Somebody needs to tell the government about Firefox and Chrome before a few terrorists slip away once their internet inevitably crashes.
Secret Service Spokesman Ed Donovan said the request was put out in hopes that the agency could have its own program for efficiently monitoring Twitter. Right now, they’re using FEMA’s social media monitoring software, and it isn’t quite up to snuff for their needs. Donovan cited specific instances wherein a more effective Twitter monitor could have allowed the Secret Service to respond to problems faster.
The exact reasoning behind a feature that detects sarcasm still remains unclear, however. But we’re all super curious to find out what it’s for.