Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Monitoring social networking sites could prevent suicide
Posted on 14-Oct-2009 09:00. | Tags Filed under: News.

Analysing posts on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook could help to prevent suicide, according to two Victoria University researchers.

Dr Tiong-Thye Goh and student assistant Yen-Pei Huang, both from the School of Information Management at Victoria University, have devised a decision support system to scan social networking sites to identify key words that people aged between 18 and 24 are posting. A high proportion of key words could mean that the user is at risk of depression, suicide, self-harm or harming others.

“Social networking sites have in recent years become an increasingly popular avenue for young people to express and to share their thoughts, views and emotions,” says Dr Goh.

“When young people are emotionally distressed for instance, instead of the traditional channel of consulting friends, parents or specialists, social networking blogs may provide a channel to share and release their emotions and intentions.

“Our technology picks up words or phrases such as ‘depressed’, or ‘I don’t want to live any more’ or ‘I want to kill somebody’. We analyse the database of phrases and rank them according to frequency of use – if certain key words are used a lot it is likely that the particular person may be emotionally depressed.”

The next step for the researchers is to see whether making a gentle approach to young people deemed at risk is effective.

“We are looking at sending a short message to these people and asking the question ‘How are you?’ with three different response options—‘Good’, ‘A bit down’, or ‘Bad – need help’ and measuring its effectiveness,” says Dr Goh.

“The option of needing help would link to an appropriate website that provides useful information and links.”

There is still work to do on refining the technology to improve identification of young people at risk and remove false alarms. Eventually the researchers would like to see an e-monitoring service used by social agencies to identify and engage with people who are at risk.

More information:

comments powered by Disqus

Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

Sony XZ Owners discussion
Created by networkn, last reply by Geektastic on 23-Oct-2016 22:48 (104 replies)
Pages... 5 6 7

Gigabit cable now available
Created by sub, last reply by Pumpedd on 23-Oct-2016 10:48 (59 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4

Who is this women? She is possibly the most famous women on the internet and nobody knows who she is.
Created by jimbob79, last reply by cynnicallemon on 20-Oct-2016 13:28 (14 replies)

Labour weekend plans?
Created by DarthKermit, last reply by joker97 on 22-Oct-2016 09:51 (27 replies)
Pages... 2

Is windows 10 anniversary update causing you problems
Created by robjg63, last reply by mdav056 on 20-Oct-2016 14:01 (27 replies)
Pages... 2

Rise of the machines
Created by Rikkitic, last reply by cynnicallemon on 24-Oct-2016 08:51 (25 replies)
Pages... 2

Windows 10: HDMI or DP to connect to 4K monitor?
Created by joker97, last reply by joker97 on 23-Oct-2016 19:04 (12 replies)

Does anyone use Ebay?
Created by TeaLeaf, last reply by tchart on 23-Oct-2016 19:36 (23 replies)
Pages... 2