[Content Note: Depression; self-harm; disablism; harassment.]

Eastsidekate sent me a heads-up about a new Twitter app called Samaritans Radar, which you can use to track whether any of the people you follow are distressed, depressed, or suicidal.
Samaritans Radar uses an algorithm to identify key words and phrases which indicate distress.

They include "tired of being alone", "hate myself", "depressed", "help me" and "need someone to talk to."

Users who have signed up for the scheme will receive an email alert if someone they follow tweets these statements.
The app, of course, cannot distinguish sarcasm, nor does it appear to distinguish between someone saying "help me" because they need support and "help me" because they need to find a rare Blur b-side.

Kate noted to me via email (which I'm sharing with permission) that "more that one person in my TL has pointed out [that being able to sign up and get a notification anytime anyone you follow seems depressed] is a huge invitation to abusers."

I also find it really interesting, ahem, that there's an app designed to track people saying things that indicate distress, but not to track people saying things like "kill yourself," which is one of the most common exhortations lots of us get from trolls.

When I mentioned that to Kate, she replied: "Right. I'm not sure who developed the app, but I'm guessing they some help from Twitter. Clearly, Twitter could come up with an algorithm that flags potentially abusive accounts. Instead of working on that, they're promoting an app that makes it as easy as possible for strangers to know when I'm depressed/struggling with Office 2013? Fuck that."

I looked at Samaritans Radar's website, to see if there is a way for people to opt out of being tracked, and I couldn't find any option to do so.

Yeah. This is going to work out great.

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