comScore Secret Service Wants to Buy a Sarcasm Detector | The Mary Sue

The Secret Service Wants to Buy a Sarcasm Detector, We Bet That Will Work out Sooo Well

It's a good thing it doesn't exist yet, because the response to this news would have overloaded it.


The Secret Service does not approve of the Internet’s secret sarcasm. Come on, you guys. Don’t you know that the Internet is most useful for spreading information quickly in an emergency and definitely not for snickering trolls and reaction GIFs? That’s why they’re looking to purchase software designed to detect sarcastic tweets.

This leap forward in machine learning—considering that comment sections are solid proof that most humans still have trouble detecting Internet sarcasm—was requested in a work order posted online and should be able to “synthesize large sets of social media data.” There’s a catch, though. Your futuristic sarcasm detecting technology must work with Internet Explorer 8.

Do sarcasm detectors only work on Internet Explorer? That would explain why I only hear about them when someone’s is broken.

All the social media data they can gather if they can weed out all of that pesky sarcasm could be a huge help in quickly getting a grasp on what’s going on as far as security issues. Ed Donovan, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, told the Washington Post:

Our objective is to automate our social media monitoring process. Twitter is what we analyze. This is real time stream analysis. The ability to detect sarcasm and false positives is just one of 16 or 18 things we are looking at. We are looking for the ability to quantity our social media outreach. We aren’t looking solely to detect sarcasm.

Oh, good. That’s what I was really concerned about. Only trying to detect sarcasm would just be silly. Who wants a sarcasm detector that can’t multitask? Otherwise, it’s just going to sit there after all the sarcasm has been found.

If you think you’ve got a sarcasm detection solution that’s worth our tax dollars, they’ll be accepting proposals until June 9th at 5PM. That’s enough time to come up with a better solution than weird punctuation marks or backward italics, right?

(via The Verge, image via Futurama and our own edits)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.