A new tool in the battle against social media bullying - AmericaNowNews.com


A new tool in the battle against social media bullying

An Internet company is hoping to be a tool for schools to help stop school violence and bullying by monitoring students Facebook post.

It's an alert system called Social Net Watcher and its creators say the goal is to prevent the next tragedy.

This first-of-its kind warning system may be able to detect these threats of violence before they become real.

"It just scares me to have to send my kid to school," says Tara Cupp. "It shouldn't be something that you have to think about."

Cupp says threats of violence posted on Facebook made her terrified for her son and other students walking the halls.

"I was very scared," says Cupp. "What parent wants to hear that another child is threatening to do stuff to other kids?"

Enter Social Net Watcher.

"This was not created to put kids in jail. It was created to thwart a tragedy," says Bruce Canal, a retired Indiana State Police trooper who says he developed the Facebook app by modeling technology used by the FBI. "Let's make this clear: There is nothing in the security world that is fool-proof, but this is just one additional tool."

Social Net Watcher is pretty simple. It works by scanning students' Facebook pages, cross-checking words and phrases with Social IT's threat database. If a match is found, then text and email alerts are sent out to school administrators.

A red alert means a possible threat of violence. Green is for bullying, and yellow is for thoughts of suicide.

"When a student posts it, within 60-seconds, that phrase, if it matches our database, would be pushed to our client," says Canal.

When a school corporation signs on, students and their parents must give the company their permission.

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