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US Secret Service Wants To Identify Snark

Unknown Lamer posted about a month and a half ago | from the bound-for-success dept.

Privacy 213

beschra (1424727) writes "From the article: 'The U.S. Secret Service is seeking software that can identify top influencers and trending sets of social media data, allowing the agency to monitor these streams in real-time — and sift through the sarcasm. "We are not currently aware of any automated technology that could do that (detect sarcasm). No one is considered a leader in that,'" Jamie Martin, a data acquisition engineer at Sioux Falls, SD based Bright Planet, told CBS News.'

Why not just force Twitter to change TOS to require sarcasm tag?"

cancel ×

213 comments

No way! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165301)

Won't find any of that here!

Yeah, right (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165313)

that's gonna work

Re:Yeah, right (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165705)

Sure it will:

bool inetrnetsarcasmdetector (string post) {
return true; }

This should be easy. (1)

mellon (7048) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165319)

Just feed a bayesian analysis with postings from /. and use that to match against twitter. Should be able to get within 10%...

Re:This should be easy. (4, Insightful)

flappinbooger (574405) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165465)

Just feed a bayesian analysis with postings from /. and use that to match against twitter. Should be able to get within 10%...

Some conspiracy insight - the government's quantum based AI big brother master computer of the NSA is up and running in order to completely surveil the internet in real time.

The problem is, it is nearly useless because it can't determine if someone is being sarcastic / snarky or not.

Re:This should be easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165791)

This is easily solved by the Cull Hypothesis:

1. Detect all offensive messages
2. Perform counter offensive to remove offender from communication systems
3. Goto step 1 until you've culled all offensive messages.

In this way, we'll evolve snark out of society (perhaps even out of genetics if it's sustainable.)

Sarcasm example (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47166047)

The President of the US traded 5 high-ranking terrorist war criminals for a deserter.

Re:Sarcasm example (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166263)

Sorry, but that isn't sarcasm. That is a fact.

Re:This should be easy. (3, Funny)

poity (465672) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166251)

Conspiracy insight level 2: The government already has a sentient AI, but it's an Aspie like Data on Star Trek, so they're crowd-sourcing its emotional development. *dun-dun-DUN*

Re:This should be easy. (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165955)

Actually, what they could do would be to correlate English language postings with equivalent German language postings. As Germans are known world wide for their fun-loving sense of humor and sarcastic wits, the difference should yield accurate, non-snarky posts in English.

Easy (3, Funny)

corychristison (951993) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165321)

Search the text for /sarcasm or #sarcasm.

Done. Where's my paycheque?

Re:Easy (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165345)

yeah, that will work.

Re:Easy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165507)

Excuse me sir, you seem to have forgotten to tag your post with #sarcasm.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165731)

But your post isn't sarcastic, why that tag? Anyway, they want to verify what people are thinking of them when they screw up things. How innovative of them.

but.. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165331)

They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away—
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

Re:but.. (2)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165835)

They're looking for Fouquieria columnaris?

Re:but.. (1)

lgw (121541) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166217)

It's always amazed me how the word "snark" has proliferated, once you understand its intended meaning. Hint: the poem was the world's greatest-ever success at sneaking one past the censors.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165333)

I guess now that they aren't allowed to have prostitute-parties at each of the President's stops,they're looking for new things to occupy thier time. I guess reading sarcasm on the Internets could help them do thier job of protecting VIP's better...

Re:Seriously? (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165407)

A significant part of their job is deciding whether threats made against said VIPs are serious or not.

Re:Seriously? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165889)

Which is something of a problem, since the internet is so full of 'patriots' declaring it is their duty (often god-given duty) to rebel against the tyranny of the government. And very nearly all of them are just spouting hot air.

Re:Seriously? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166265)

Good point....they don't actually do anything all that useful or needed.

Yeah, right. (4, Funny)

rujasu (3450319) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165335)

This will TOTALLY work. Detecting sarcasm will be DEFINITELY not be hard to do in software, seeing as how it's SO EASY for humans to do already.

Re:Yeah, right. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165391)

I'm not exactly sure how you've come to this conclusion, this is actually going to be pretty hard to do, especially because detecting sarcasm in other people is pretty inexact.

Re:Yeah, right. (3, Funny)

Wookact (2804191) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165451)

Um, Woosh.

Re:Yeah, right. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165515)

Woosh.

oh wait, unless *you* were being sarcastic.

Re:Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165725)

It is sarcasm all the way down!

I suggest they create an algorithm to detect LACK of sarcasm and assume everything else is sarcastic.

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

plover (150551) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165985)

I think that's what they're asking for.

Oh, sorry, I'll wait for it .... whoosh.

Re:Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165533)

Meta-sarcasm?

Re:Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165541)

Yes..... woosh for poor simple to fool Wookact who could not detect subtle sarcasm backing up rajasu's blatant sarcasm

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165741)

You dawg, I heard u don't like sarcasm, so I didn't put any sarcasm in your sarcasm so you can't OH FUCK IT.

Re:Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165805)

Um, Woosh yourself?

Somewhere, sometime, a person will not detect snark.

Poe's Law of Diminishing Snarkiness

Dude! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165963)

Um, Woosh.

Don't give THEM any hints!

Geeze! Now all the SS has to do is just look for someone posting "woosh" after the comment after the parent comment to see who doesn't get it and then see that the GP is sarcastic and then we are all in Gitmo.

Re:Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165463)

I'm not exactly sure how you've come to this conclusion, this is actually going to be pretty hard to do, especially because detecting sarcasm in other people is pretty inexact.

Oh COME ON. Isn't it OBVIOUS where the SARCASM is here, or does YOUR caps lock not work...

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165519)

Excellent response. I award you the point

Re:Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165653)

woosh?

Oh, Gee, a sarcasm detector (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165341)

that's a real useful invention.

Ha ha CBG, Frink gets the last laugh!

Re:Oh, Gee, a sarcasm detector (2)

almitydave (2452422) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165389)

that's a real useful invention.

Ha ha CBG, Frink gets the last laugh!

Oblig YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSy5mEcmgwU [youtube.com]

ppfffftt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165347)

like that will work.

Re:ppfffftt. (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165423)

Sorry, you want the dismissive banter department. This is sarcasm.

Detect Sarcasm???? (1)

DuBois (105200) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165363)

How are you going to teach a computer to detect sarcasm when most of the posters on Slashdot can't, assuming posters here are actually human? Which might be a stretch.

Re:Detect Sarcasm???? (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165633)

Nobody seems to be asking WHY.

Why would the Secret Service, in particular, want to tell sarcasm apart from other speech? Think about who they are.

They want to be able to distinguish sarcastic political speech, from sincere political speech. Of course both are protected speech.

Now, they might have a benign purpose, but from the description in TFA it doesn't seem so. After all, the administration would look pretty foolish if they tried to harass or jail someone for being sarcastic.

Re:Detect Sarcasm???? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165773)

After all, the administration would look pretty foolish if they tried to harass or jail someone for being sarcastic.

It really depends on what you're veing sarcastic about from the perspective of the Secret Service.

If you sarcastically say "'some guy' should be drowned in a vat of gazpacho and gummy bears while 16 clowns play the William Tell overture on kazoos", and their job is to protect 'some guy' (fill in your own blank here) ... one presumes the intent to tell the difference between random stupid things people day, and decidedly not random, actual threats to 'some guy'.

And, there have already been people who have been arrested (or at least vigorously questioned) about sarcasm they've uttered on the internet about the various safety of 'some guy/place/thing/event'.

Re:Detect Sarcasm???? (1)

plover (150551) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166027)

My company sells gazpacho, gummy bears, and kazoos, and we just received a National Security Letter asking us to report if someone buys all three together.

Just pointing out that the first rule of comedic threat club is that you DO NOT TALK ABOUT comedic threat club. At least not without a flaming-torch-juggling attorney present.

Re:Detect Sarcasm???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165871)

According to the article speedy response is the stated purpose and they want to use social media to get a super fast response. So the problem is really trying to find out who is lying.

Seems like a dispatcher could do this....

You answered your own question (4, Interesting)

Comboman (895500) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165903)

Nobody seems to be asking WHY.

Why would the Secret Service, in particular, want to tell sarcasm apart from other speech? Think about who they are.

They want to be able to distinguish sarcastic political speech, from sincere political speech. Of course both are protected speech.

Now, they might have a benign purpose, but from the description in TFA it doesn't seem so. After all, the administration would look pretty foolish if they tried to harass or jail someone for being sarcastic.

The reason the Secret Service wants sarcasm detection is because of the bad PR they get every time they harass someone for being sarcastic. [usatoday.com] The problem is not sarcastic political speech vs sincere political speech; it's sarcastic threats vs sincere threats.

Re:You answered your own question (1)

Entropius (188861) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166201)

Are there genuine sincere threats made on Twitter etc?

Someone who's being snarky tweets "So Imma go shoot the president now." Someone who's serious doesn't tweet about shooting the president, and instead goes and shoots him.

@leeharveyoswald didn't take out a classified ad asking for lawn chairs on the grassy knoll, after all.

Re:Detect Sarcasm???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47166031)

It makes sense if you view sarcasm as just another mode of encryption. Almost makes me want to write up an Alice and Bob scenario...

Re:Detect Sarcasm???? (1)

lgw (121541) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166275)

Why would the Secret Service, in particular, want to tell sarcasm apart from other speech? Think about who they are.

  They want to be able to distinguish sarcastic political speech, from sincere political speech. Of course both are protected speech.

Not all political speech is protected. A threat to harm the President of the US is specifically not protected speech. The Secret Service is particularly concerned with such threats, and is in fact charged with keeping tabs on everyone who has ever threatened the president.

If you've ever publically made such a threat, there's a chance an agent will knock on your door and politely sit with you for a few hours while the president is in town. Think about the logistics of that. It would get quite out of hand if they took all internet threats seriously.

If you like your deserter, you can keep him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165369)

Then we'll trade you five war criminals for him.

Poor example (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165377)

Donovan’s example is a 2009 inauguration problem in which people were trapped in a Capitol tunnel and unable to reach the security gates. If the Secret Service had known through real-time social media, they could have remedied the situation more quickly.

That's true. But if they had gotten a message by carrier pigeon that people were stuck in the tunnel they could also have remedied the situation. /sarcasm

This is a good use of tax dollars and great for fr (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165381)

This is a great use of our tax money. It really expands our freedom too. I'm glad the government isn't trying to snoop on non-criminals.

This is a good use of tax dollars and great for fr (3, Funny)

jmcvetta (153563) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165979)

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. /sarcasm

I think the are missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165399)

Why go through this problem in the first place? Couldn't a phone operator solve the same problem about as well if not better than an program to detect sarcasm or lying?

Stop, you fools! (3, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165401)

With all the sarcasm, don't you all realize you're creating the perfect dataset for them to train their algorithms on?

Re:Stop, you fools! (1)

Rich_Lather (925834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165667)

sure

Re:Stop, you fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165771)

shit

Life imitates The Onion (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165403)

Also, obligatory "yeah, that'll work".

Wouldn't requiring a sarcasm tag... (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165415)

be a violation of the first amendment? I would imagine you would need to force an ironic tag as well, if you posted a sarcastic post without the tag, sarcastically.

What? (1)

ichthus (72442) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165437)

Why not just force Twitter to change TOS to require sarcasm tag?

Or, why not just allow free speech? Why do we have to identify sarcasm? Maybe part of the expression of the message is its ambiguity.

Re:What? (2)

Spamalope (91802) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165563)

Or, why not just allow free speech? Why do we have to identify sarcasm? Maybe part of the expression of the message is its ambiguity.

Automated propaganda. Sheep herding shouldn't have to be work.

Re:What? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165599)

Or, why not just allow free speech? Why do we have to identify sarcasm? Maybe part of the expression of the message is its ambiguity.

Well, as much as I don't like to defend it ...

Imagine that the Secret Service is, oh, I don't know, responsible for assessing threats to various people.

Now, some random internet loon says "grrr, I'm so angry I want to air drop a million pounds of used condoms, Snickers wrappers and Depends undergarments onto Capitol Hill in protest" -- now, you have two possibilities:

1) The random internet loon is blowing off steam, but in no way has either the desire or the resources to actually do this.
2) The random internet loon has just made a tangible threat.

And, since we've already seen stories about people who get arrested for making what they thought was an obviously flippant remark, this becomes a problem.

Of course, as with any automated system ... the false positives and false negatives will be what really kills it.

Because you will have instances where someone makes a genuine threat, and it is flagged as sarcasm. And, you will also have cases where what should be clearly interpreted as sarcasm will be interpreted as real.

So, then you either get actual attacks happening nobody took seriously. Or the men in dark sunglasses hauling you off in the night for questioning because they're 100% convinced that your threat to drop the condoms, Snickers wrappers, and Depends on Capitol Hill was real.

Re:What? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165655)

Important clarification for any sarcasm impaired law enforcement agencies:

The above example was contrived to be the most outrageous (and therefore least plausible) example I could think of.

You won't know I wasn't joking until you're awash in used condoms, Snickers wrappers, and Depends undergarments air lifted from my herd of flying elephants. The elephant poop is just a freebie since the Depends don't fit the elephants.

Re:What? (2)

ichthus (72442) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165801)

So, then you either get actual attacks happening nobody took seriously. Or the men in dark sunglasses hauling you off in the night for questioning because they're 100% convinced that your threat to drop the condoms, Snickers wrappers, and Depends on Capitol Hill was real.

Which scenario do you think is more likely? Furthermore, if anyone is a real threat, there will be much more intelligence (as in evidence of a threat) surrounding that individual than their tweets. Arresting people based solely on their tweets or FB posts will very rapidly devolve into an outright ban of saying anything critical of government officials or policy -- AKA fascism [merriam-webster.com] .

Re:What? (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165933)

That is where America has been headed...

Re:What? (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165941)

Which scenario do you think is more likely?

Well ... gee ... let me think.

This kid [rt.com] :

"Someone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane, you're crazy, you're messed up in the head,'" he called, "to which he replied 'Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts.'"

According to Carter, he ended the quip with "LOL" and "JK" -- Internet shorthand for "laugh out loud" and "just kidding," respectively.

It's a real thing, it has happened already. No evidence of a crime (or even the actual intent to commit one). But someone sees it and goes "eep", and then you get dragged off to jail.

Arresting people based solely on their tweets or FB posts will very rapidly devolve into an outright ban of saying anything critical of government officials or policy -- AKA fascism.

You seem to be under the impression this isn't happening already.

It is.

So, ask me again if I think what I said is a plausible scenario. Because I said it with the full knowledge it has already happened.

If they required a tag... (2)

istartedi (132515) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165469)

If they required a sarcasm tag, I'd put it on everything just to be safe. Or would I?

Re:If they required a tag... (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165531)

Or would I?

You would, but you'd put the closing tag first.

Sarcasm tags wouldn't work. (3, Insightful)

kruach aum (1934852) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165473)

Because people would instantly start using them sarcastically.

[sarcasm]It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife[/sarcasm]

Re:Sarcasm tags wouldn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47166121)

You got me. That was not the multi-layered joke I was expecting. If only I had some mod points for you...

So... (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165481)

So they want to turn all social media into an even more passive-aggressive wasteland than much of it already is?

Re:So... (1)

plover (150551) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166069)

Yep. Exactly no change.

there was one. (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165485)

And to this day I wonder why Homer's inventor-friend didn't just add a couple Zener diodes to his design to handle signal overload conditions.

Slashdot gives us a prime example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165489)

Given the actually quite poor levels of snark displayed even in the comments to this very article, it's easy for an uninformed onlooker to surmise that detecting snark or sarcasm is in fact entirely doable by machine, if not (yet) by some small shell script. As is well known, bureaucracies have no sense of humour, and as is well known outside of North America at least, Americans have trouble with irony as a style figure. It is easy to see, by putting all this together, that any random American Bureaucratic Agency is uniquely qualified for the onlooking job. Thus we see that in these waters, silly is the new professional.

sarcasm detector (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165493)

A sarcasm detector? That's a real useful invention.

Lmao it had to happen (1)

ReekRend (843787) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165499)

How many people have/talk about trolling terrorism keywords? That's what they get.

So They're Actually Doing their Job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165505)

Given that a small aprt of their job is to identify pump and dump scams, this is actually in their line of work, which is pleasantly surprising.

LOL ... (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165517)

The automated detection of sarcasm and derision will be one of the fastest growing segments in the new economy.

Already at least 3 startups have begun with this included in their mission statement, along with a stated goal of relieving venture capitalists from the burden of their investment money.

It is of vital national importance that we identify who is merely being a dismissive arrogant douchebag, and who is at risk of inadvertently hurting someone else's feelings so we send them for re-education and thought alignment. It will also help to identify people who haven't yet fully swallowed the kool-aid and don't believe that the government is, in fact, here to help us, uphold the Constitution, and defend our rights.

The US Secret Service is going to aggressively fund a second mandate to decode the mysteries of eye rolling, sneering, and derisive snorts.

This should further embolden the usage of widespread warrantless collection of our personal information with the knowledge that law enforcement agencies will be able to accurately detect sarcasm and redirect scarce resources to fondling young children and old people in airport security lines.

A spokesperson for the Treasury Department indicated that popular internet forum Slashdot, as well as Digg and 4Chan will be used as exemplars for this technology, as these have been identified as the single largest sources of snark on the interwebs since Al Gore invented it.

It has been further reported that Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has said he welcomes this new initiative in the spirit of cooperation between the two countries, and that Kim Jon Un is hoping this will lead to a normalization of relations as it will allow the US to realize that North Korea was only kidding.

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165709)

A system that solves this problem already exists: captchas.

People will read several sentences (5+), all but one are known to be sarcastic or serious and the single other one unknown. People solving just type in Y Y Y N Y

A side effect of this would be that it would greatly improve the reading comprehension ability of today's youth.

Re:LOL ... (3, Funny)

Megane (129182) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165761)

A spokesperson for the Treasury Department indicated that popular internet forum Slashdot, as well as Digg and 4Chan will be used as exemplars for this technology, as these have been identified as the single largest sources of snark on the interwebs since Al Gore invented it.

The Brits will now need to close up the Sarcasm Gap, but at least they have their own strategic snark reserves in the form of B3ta and The Register.

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47166091)

Yes, if only computers could differentiate between sarcasm and genuineness, "THEN" the government can more efficiently rush in and enforce their politically correct opinions were they are most needed.

I can just see Grandma pined to the floor at gunpoint by the FBI regarding her terroristic tweet about homosexuality. Fortunately the Computer was able to determine that the Muslim guy next store was just being sarcastic when he mentioned hijacking his flight.

New Millenium did not change that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165587)

Sarcasm = Constructive Criticism = 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech = AMERICA

Re:New Millenium did not change that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47166129)

Sarcasm = Constructive Criticism = 1st Amendment Privilege to Free Speech = Dream some people wrote in document written over 200 years ago

The problem (1)

meerling (1487879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165609)

Since they are sarcasm impaired, will they understand the sarcastic output of the software anyhow?

Yeah, sure, the 3 year old is a terrorist. He was secretly responsible for 911, and that bath photo is actually a steganographic blueprint for filling the Pentagon with tribbles.

detecting false positives (1)

trb (8509) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165627)

They are talking about “Ability to detect sarcasm and false positives.” So now evil-doers will sprinkle their messages with omg lulz whatever i can has infidel pwnage.

A sarcasm detector? (2)

sootman (158191) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165659)

Oh, that's a really useful invention.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m... [youtube.com]

Re:A sarcasm detector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165755)

And what about this poor guy...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziH9St7ajuw

Sarcasm tag should be on by default (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165677)

It should require explicit opt-out to turn it off each time. It would be easier for everyone that way.

If it were anyone but the SS, I'd say no-go (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165703)

Human brains, even the bigger one's here on /., often miss sarcasm. It's one of those subtle things that varies immensely with context, intelligence, context, etc. Then again, software can hardly do worse than the Secret Service at differentiating things like "real" from "make believe". For you new kids, please see http://www.sjgames.com/SS/ [sjgames.com]

Money well spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165777)

This represents a productive use of taxpayer money.

And the answer is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47165843)

Obama

can't they just mask against congress' speeches? (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165877)

I'll see your "my fellow Americans" and raise you a "my distinguished colleague..."

Why can we just mandate a bit to be set? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165891)

Being a government agency, with its well known tendency to mandate things, they might be inspired by this RFC [ietf.org] and decide to mandate everyone to set the snark bit in all their postings.

Makes sense... (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165901)

The Secret Service abbreviation is SS....

Algorithm (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165921)

IF (current poster is not an idiot)
AND
(current post appears to support a stupid idea),
THEN
(post is SNARK).

So what they really need is a stupidity detector - which might be a great invention except that it would be on all of the time.

Are you serious? (hah) (1)

onproton (3434437) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165973)

Seriously though that is adorable that they want to try to disprove Poe's Law.

How about hate? (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a month and a half ago | (#47165975)

Because I have tons of that.

tl;dnr - (1)

tambo (310170) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166073)


NSA
NSA
NSA hates Poe's Law
They have a fight
Poe's Law wins
Poe's Law.

Resources well used (2)

LessThanObvious (3671949) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166137)

I am certainly glad to see my tax dollars spent on worthy high tech and expensive efforts by the Secret Service and NSA. They should continue to spend with no concern for rationality. If you don't want to pay $100 billion a year to watch what people are doing you clearly have something to hide. The Tea Party should also continue hate big government, but also support unlimited spending on anti-terror efforts. #snark

Kids In The Hall - Lonely Sarcastic Guy (1)

Kevoco (64263) | about a month and a half ago | (#47166237)

Lonely Sarcastic Guy [youtube.com]

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