Photo of research scientists from LianHe Zaobao

According to Chinese papers Zaobao, three unnamed government ministries are currently assessing a new software to monitor online comments. The new software, called SentiMo (short for sentiments monitoring), is designed by government agency, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), and will likely be implemented by 2018.

The Singapore government will use the software to monitor sentiments of online comments, which is also claimed to be capable of detecting sarcasm. According to government research scientist Raj Gupta, the margin of error is 4% and the result will be useful to the organisations which are concerned about its public image.

It is unknown the extent of monitoring the new software is capable of, but a profiling of online commentators and taken legal actions against Singaporeans is likely on the card. The Singapore dictatorship is especially concerned with image and has taken countless lawsuits against its own citizens for expressing opposition opinion.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently sent his nephew into exile for making a private post criticising his judiciary and government.