Samaritans still isn’t saying much about the “Samaritans Radar” fiasco
The Samaritans Radar has been running for over a week now, and despite it upsetting a lot of people, and all of the (ahem) insightful analysis on what it all means… the organisation has been rather quiet.
Samaritans has still not offered a substantive response to any of the specific complaints – such as how the mere existence of the app has allegedly driven some users away from Twitter as it has made them feel more vulnerable.
Whilst no doubt looking around to check for the nearest exit, a Samaritans spokesperson told me via email:
“As a result of the advice we have sought we believe that Samaritans Radar is compliant with the relevant data protection legislation. As we are in discussions with the Information Commissioners Office, and continue to review the concerns raised, we are not able to give more details at this stage. We will respond to further enquiries over the coming days.
“To date more than 4,300 people have activated Samaritans Radar with almost 1.9 million Twitter feeds being supported by the app.”
So, umm, it will be interesting to see how it plays out “over the coming days”. And is it us, or is 4300 sign-ups not that many for a major organisation making a huge media push that has been hounded by a tonne of publicity?
See also: Why Samaritans Radar reminds us we have no control over our data.
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Will the Samaritans be addressing the known issues of how their poor quality app enables Cyber Stalking and Harassment? They need to get up to speed with the Information Super Highway and stop acting like pensions with a zimmer frame on a pelican crossing.
“The impact of cyberstalking on relationships social activities was reported by the majority of respondents. Overall a greater number of men reported negative changes to their relationships than women. Men in particular were more likely to experience changes such as the giving up of social activities and the breakup of central relationships. However losing touch with family members and friends was more often reported to be an effect of cyberstalking by women”
Maple, C., Short, E., & Brown, A. (2011).
Cyberstalking in the United Kingdom: an analysis of the ECHO Pilot Survey.
University of Bedfordshire.
Given that Men are at a higher risk of completed suicide and this awful app runs a far higher risk of men becoming isolated, I do hope that internal sexism within The Samaritans Management Structure – coupled with IT Illiteracy – is not causing Institutional Sexism and endangering Beneficiaries? My Personal Observation is That “IT IS”!