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theEweekly Wrap

US Secret Service and Sarcasm – Turkey Lifts YouTube Ban – Myspace Misses You

US Secret Service hopes to understand sarcasm

This week, the US Secret Service posted an open work order for surveillance software which has the ability to detect sarcasm.

The first news source to pick up the story was the technology and news focused NextGov, after they published it the story quickly gained traction and was picked up by news outlets all over the web.

Ed Donavan, who's a spokesperson for the Secret Service, was quoted by The Washington Post saying: "Our objective is to automate our social media monitoring process. Twitter is what we analyse."

The US government's Secret Service has been under a lot of pressure from the public ever since Edward Snowden became a household name. When asked about the purpose of the software the agency just states its mission: "preserving the integrity of the economy and protecting national leaders and visiting heads of state and government."

If you look at the work order the "ability to detect sarcasm and false positives" is listed as a specific requirement for the software.

Some Twitter users rushed to their keyboards to share their opinions, saying that the finished software will be their favourite piece of software ever made.


Turkey lifts YouTube ban

Next up we have news that the 74 million people of Turkey can once again use YouTube. The website had been blocked by the country's telecoms provider back in March. Now the Constitutional Court in Ankara has lifted the ban.

YouTube was blocked alongside Twitter, which was restored to use back in April, but both sites were taken down while the country was gearing up for the local elections.

Many in the west are suspicious of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who used his power to ban the two sites after the circulation of videos and wiretaps appearing to show corruption within his inner circle.

Yet Mr Erdogan said that the sites were being used to send out fabricated information, and that his opponents were using social media to attack him.

On the day of the elections, March 30th, his party was the victor; making it through the whole debacle with his popularity still strong.

Two months on, the Turkish court declared the ban as a violation of the right to freedom of speech. And on Tuesday this week an official at Mr Erdogan's office declared "YouTube will be open to access".


Myspace wants you back for good

MySpace remembers the good old days when you would log in to the website and share things on it too. This isn't just nostalgia on the part of MySpace, as the site is trying another method to bring its users back into the fold.

Their plan is to show old time users of the service photos of what they were up to back when they were more active on the site. The photos are being sent to inboxes under the tag line "The good, the rad and what were you thinking..."

It's unknown if the plan is working at the moment, perhaps some have reservations toward the value of what a teenage them thought about the world, but regardless Myspace seems to be optimistic. Speaking to Mashable a spokesperson said "Myspace has been reaching out to current and past users to re-engage them through a personalized experience."

So if you have the stomach for it, why not go through your teenage years again?

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