New “Support Circle” feature in Predator Alert Tool for Twitter helps cyberbullying targets get help from friends

Tonight’s update to the Predator Alert Tool for Twitter adds a feature inspired by the award-winning Circle of 6 anti-violence iPhone app to help cyberbullying targets call for help when they need it:

This screenshot shows a small excerpt from a four hour long cyberbullying dogpile by @nullvoid9 on Twitter, with the new "Get help from your Support Circle" link under their tweet.

Your Support Circle are other Twitter users who you know and trust to publicly back you up when you’re getting bullied on Twitter. When you’re enduring cyberbullying on Twitter, you can use Predator Alert Tool for Twitter to get help from your Support Circle in one click. Everyone in your Support Circle receives a Direct Message asking them to help you, with a link to the harassing messages.

Just the other day, I was harassed on Twitter for more than 4 straight hours by a clique of pop social justice cyberbullies. As a result of that, I spent all night yesterday and all day today trying to come up with more ways to literally encode anti-bullying mechanisms into the technology that I use. As I said then:

[I]f we want to meaningfully address #cyberbullying we need to:

  1. build communication tools for target(s) & supporter(s) to connect, FAST.
  2. Change the way we think about abuse and #cyberbullying (and violence) from “a thing bullies do” to “an experience that a target endures,” and
  3. nurture mutually meaningful relationships w/other individual people (as opposed to “support causes for demographics”).

For me personally, this means continuing to literally encode these goals in Predator Alert Tool code. You can help by sharing ideas with me. Until you have an idea to share you can also help by sharing links to work I already did to encode ideas by @unquietpirate & others in code. Those links are easy to find on the Internet, e.g., on LifeHacker and at [my homepage], maymay.net.

The “Support Circle” feature I added to Predator Alert Tool for Twitter today is part of me enacting goal number 1: build communication tools for target(s) and supporter(s) to connect, fast.

As usual, sending me bug reports and feature requests are both equally appreciated, as are donations of food to keep me hacking.