The Social Media Sobriety Test

From the now-I’ve-heard-it-all-file: Ever send a message on Facebook at 3 a.m. after a night of alcohol imbibing that you regretted? Don’t even remember doing it? Then the Social Media Sobriety Test, a free Firefox plug-in from online security company Webroot Software, is for you.

From the now-I’ve-heard-it-all-file: Ever send a message on Facebook at 3 a.m. after a night of alcohol imbibing that you regretted? Don’t even remember doing it? Then the Social Media Sobriety Test, a free Firefox plug-in from online security company Webroot Software, is for you.

The plug-in was designed to prevent drunk people for publishing anything they might regret when sober. It requires users to perform a series of tasks before allowing them to post messages or photos to a social media site.

More specifically, after downloading the plug-in, users of networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube can choose to block these specific sites at the hours of the day (or night) they consider themselves most at risk to drunken posting. The plug-in asks users to pass a randomly selected sobriety test such as dragging the mouse in a straight line or typing the alphabet backwards before being able to log on.

“Nothing good happens online after 1 a.m.,” reads the web page promoting the plug-in, which promises to help “put an end to the embarrassment that follows regrettable, late-night posts.”

“Pass a simple test to prove you’re sound of mind,” Webroot Software says. “Post away or, if you fail, maybe just go to bed.”

As evidence of the need for its service, the app’s page features a scroll of Twitter posts (some with the hashtags #drunk or #drunktweet) that could have been avoided:

  • “THANK GOD, it worked. Now I better not be charged for stalking.”
  • “I better get to sleep. I have to get up early to call in sick to work.”
  • “wah I hate my boss.”

Google also offers a tool for its Gmail service designed to prevent users from sending drunken emails. Mail Goggles forces users to solve five simple math problems in less than a minute in order to send a late-night message.

I’ve yet to try either service, but might after a few drinks during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Have you tried either? If so, please let us know how they worked by posting a comment below.