Even Secret Service Computers Don't Get Sarcasm

The U.S. Secret Service wants sentiment analysis software that can detect sarcasm. That's a sign of over-reliance on inadequate technology to solve complex real-world problems.
Careful what you type, Mr president.

There are perfectly serious, and honorable, reasons the U.S. Secret Service should want to analyze social networks using tools with the "ability to detect sarcasm and false positives." It's already been dubbed a "sarcasm detector" and condemned as evidence of government snooping; but what the security agency really wants is to avoid situations like the recent arrest of a 14-year-old Dutch girl for tweeting she was an al-Qaeda terrorist.

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