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Can Schools Proactively Monitor Social Media for Threats?

University Business, November 2012

The search-based filtering techniques used by social media monitoring tools rely on spotting a specific set of keywords, including the name of the school. Since people can make valid threats using words outside that list, monitoring tools could never identify threats comprehensively.

Still, one expert believes schools can effectively apply these tools to discovering online threats. “A lot of people don’t understand what monitoring tools are capable of,” says Dany Gaspar, the digital and social media director at the communications consultancy LEVICK. Using tools like, schools can scour the internet and see the overall tone of conversations about their institution, he explains. “You can check it every 15 to 20 minutes. It makes it so much easier to catch something that could be deemed a threat.”

SocialMention is a tool that’s similar to Bottlenose. Both are free.