This is not a joke or just an excuse to use alliteration. According to, the Secret Service posted an RFP online as of June 2nd for software that can be used to detect sarcasm in social media. The agency is looking for software that can process large quantities of social media data and provide a visual representation of the data.

In exploring this request further, it appears the agency wants a tool that will enable it to evaluate real-time data streams and old data as well as recognize those individuals who appear to be influencers in social media. Using this capability, the Secret Service would be able to separate out sneers, mockery and satire posted on Twitter, Facebook, etc. from legitimate potential threats. Therefore, this would prevent people stuck in rush-hour traffic who might vent their frustration in an unwise tweet about blowing up the freeway from being charged with making a terrorist threat.

Providing that this Secret Service software capability is able to walk the fine line between privacy and protection, it sounds like it could be a useful asset for the agency. If such cutting edge tools are going to be used, it would make sense to ensure the supporting tools are also up to date. Since the RFP indicates the software must be compatible with Internet Explorer 8, it might be time for an upgrade.

If you would like to see the full article by the, click here: Secret Service Sarcasm Software


Ryan Lahti is the founder and managing principal of OrgLeader, LLC. Stay up to date on Ryan’s STEM-based organization tweets here: @ryanlahti