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Twitter Alert May Help Negative Tweeters Avoid Being Fired

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(HANNOVER, Germany) -- German scientists have developed a Twitter tool that will review your tweets and let you know whether you’re complaining enough about your job to get yourself fired.

New Scientist magazine reports scientists at the University of Hanover in Germany created “FireMe!” to remind people in a tongue-in-cheek way that it can be risky to constantly complain about your job publicly on Twitter.

The researchers developed an algorithm that searched for telltale phrases that indicated someone had tweeted something negative about their job or boss.

In just one week last June, the researchers discovered almost 22,000 people who had tweeted something negative about their job or boss.

The Twitter user then received an automated alert tweet from FireMe! that admonished them with the message: “Can you imagine if your boss gets to know that you said: ‘I hate my job so much.’ You said that on Twitter and the whole world can see it.”

In addition to the message, each automated alert also included a link which, if followed, gave the user a FireMeter! score, which displayed their chance of being fired as a percentage. The calculation was made just for fun, but was based on how often the user had been negative about their job in the past 100 tweets and how often they swore.

Each user was also given the chance to click one of three options when they followed the link: “Delete that compromising tweet!,” “Check my privacy settings on Twitter,” or “I don't care.”

Out of 4,304 FireMe! alerts sent in the course of three weeks, 249 recipients had deleted the negative job tweet when it was checked two hours later. A few users also replied, with some saying, “Thanks buddy” and one declaring, “They already know I hate my job. I'm in the process of leaving. Cheers for the heads up though.”

The scientists found that people who tweeted negative comments about their job or boss generally tweeted more than regular users and had fewer followers than those who tweeted positive things about their work.

The research will be presented at the Web Science conference in Paris in April.

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