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Friends Don't Let Friends Do Social Media While Drunk

Now that millions of people use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as part of their daily lives, a new risk has emerged: posting...
November 16, 2010

Now that millions of people use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as part of their daily lives, a new risk has emerged: posting while drunk. People have become accustomed to sharing their photos with their friends and making pointed remarks online. This can be risky if it's done under the influence of alcohol. And it can be especially risky if you inadvertently send an embarrassing picture or a snarky remark not just to your closest friends, but to your clients. Or, worse yet, you didn't set your privacy settings the right way and those photos get out on the Internet.

But now, there's a piece of software designed to help protect you from yourself. A free plug-in for the Firefox Web browser lets users designate hours that certain social media sites can be accessed only after passing an online skill test. For instance, users will be asked to type the alphabet backward, or hold their cursor inside a moving circle.

The test, from the online security firm Webroot, works on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and MySpace. But some reviewers report having failed the test while sober. Which might prove a good fail-safe for those whose inappropriate posts about colleagues and in-laws stem not just from drunkenness, but from a lack of common sense. Or, as the developer's website puts it: Nothing good happens online after 1 a.m.

Click here to read Small Talk: The Social Media Sobriety Test (Chicago Tribune 11/9/10)