Samaritans test online app to identify those in need of help


In 2014, the UK suicide prevention group The Samaritans launched Radar, a Twitter-based service intended to leverage the social graph to identify people showing signs of suicidal intent on social media and alert their friends to reach out to offer them help. The app was quickly taken offline after widespread criticism and an online petition asking them to delete the app. Among the complaints: the high error rate, intrusiveness, and the Samaritans' response, which was to suggest that people could opt out by taking their Tweets private or joining the organisation's whitelist. In 2015, the charity followed up with a workshop to consider what, if any, action they could take to help those who needed it. The general recommendation that surfaced in discussion was that they should focus on helping indirectly by ensuring that those wishing to help distressed friends and family knew where to look for support and expertise.

Read more:

Related learning resources