Samaritans, the leading suicide prevention charity is launching Samaritans Radar – a free web application that monitors friends’ Tweets, producing alerts if it spots anyone who may be struggling to cope. The app gives users a second chance to see potentially worrying tweets.
The app has been produced by agency Jam and uses a specially designed algorithm that looks for specific keywords and phrases within a tweet. It then sends an email alert to the user with a link to the tweet it has detected, and offers guidance on the best way of reaching out and providing support. The app is free and activated in two steps from the website www.samaritansradar.org. All alerts are sent to the subscriber’s email address directly – never to their Twitter followers – and Radar doesn’t post to Twitter on the subscriber’s behalf. The app is particularly focussed on so-called ‘Millenials,’ young people.
Samaritans Radar is being backed by Twitter as part of its Twitter For Good programme, which supports social initiatives around the world. The launch of Samaritans Radar marks the beginning of a wider partnership between Twitter and Samaritans which includes a referral process for potentially vulnerable people on Twitter to the Samaritans helpline.
Sounds like a good idea. But can Jam’s new algorithm cope with, say, manic Tweeters like Piers Morgan and Lord Sugar? Some of Gary Lineker’s might exercise it too.