November 9, 2010

Browser Plug-In Helps Avoid Drunken Social Networking

An online security firm is offering the social networking equivalent of a designated driver--a new tool that will prevent people from posting online if they fail a sobriety test.

Designed by Boulder, Colorado-based Webroot, who offers consumer antivirus and security services for both consumers and businesses, the 'Social Media Sobriety Test' is a new plug-in for Web browsers that will help users avoid posting to their social networking accounts while inebriated.

"Nothing good happens online after 1am...Put an end to the embarrassment that follows regrettable, late night posts with 3 easy steps," the company says at the official website of the 'Social Media Sobriety Test.' "Pass a simple test to prove you're sound of mind"¦ Post away or, if you fail, maybe just go to bed."

The plug-in requires users to pass a test such as keeping a cursor inside a moving circle or typing the alphabet backwards, and works alongside websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or Youtube. The Social Media Sobriety Test blocks access to accounts on those website unless the user is able to successfully complete the software's tasks.

According to CNN and AFP, the plug-in is for Firefox browsers, but a visit to the download site by RedOrbit staff reveals that a version is also available for Microsoft Internet Explorer.

It is available free of charge at http://www.socialmediasobrietytest.com/ -- a website that also features a tutorial video, as well as samples of instances in which the download might have come in handy, dubbed "Avoidable Posts from Last Night" by the folks at Webroot.

According to AFP, the new tool, which can also be used on Myspace, the photo website Flickr, and blogging network Tumblr, is similar in nature to a tool offered by Google's Gmail service. That tool, known as 'Mail Goggles,' is "designed to prevent users from sending drunken emails" and "forced users to solve five simple math problems in less than a minute in order to send a Gmail missive."


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