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The US Secret Service wants to identify sarcastic tweeters from the serious in a bid that will surely cause its software to sink and buckle.

A tender issued by the security agency sought a way to determine sentiment, identify influencers and section off those exercising the lowest form of wit across the twitter sphere.

In what appears to reveal the agency's tight upgrade regime and security requirements, the Twitter trawler would need to be compatible with the dust-clad Internet Explorer 8, first released five years ago.

The agency also wants to geo-locate users based on tweets while displaying results in "user friendly" coloured charts.

Agency spokesman Ed Donovan told WaPo it would allow the service to identify security incidents, not just dimwit tweeters.

He said such a platform may have avoided the Purple Tunnel of Doom incident when up to 4000 ticket holders were stuck in the Third Street tunnel during 2009 Presidential inauguration.

The agency already uses the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Twitter analysis platform but the new system would be a step up.

More detail is available in the agency's work order which closes 9 June. ®

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