[FORENSIC-LINGUISTICS] mobile app for detecting paedophiles

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Mon Jan 24 22:59:00 UTC 2011

If it works it will be a boon to molesters who want to break heir tell-tale habits.  
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From:         Natalie Schilling <ns3 at GEORGETOWN.EDU>
Sender:       The discussion list for Language and the Law <FORENSIC-LINGUISTICS at JISCMAIL.AC.UK>
Date:         Mon, 24 Jan 2011 15:26:00 
Reply-To:     Natalie Schilling <ns3 at GEORGETOWN.EDU>
Subject: Re: [FORENSIC-LINGUISTICS] mobile app for detecting paedophiles

Apparently, the application will soon be available as a free App for 
iPhones and also available for other platforms as well. Should all 
download the software and test it/ figure out how it 'works', or should 
we warn Apple not to approve the App as part of their App Store?

Natalie Schilling
Georgetown University

On 1/24/11 2:04 PM, Janet Cotterill wrote:
> except this has been on the national news today and will no doubt be 
> taken seriously by police forces. It sounds quite plausible if you put 
> your hands over your ears!
> Janet
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Lorna Fadden <lorna.fadden at gmail.com>
> *To:* Janet Cotterill <jcotterill at yahoo.com>
> *Sent:* Mon, 24 January, 2011 19:01:37
> *Subject:* Re: [FORENSIC-LINGUISTICS] mobile app for detecting paedophiles
> WOW! This sounds every bit as scientifically sound as that handheld 
> lie detector.
> Lorna
> On 24 January 2011 10:50, Janet Cotterill <jcotterill at yahoo.com 
> <mailto:jcotterill at yahoo.com>> wrote:
>     hi
>     a new iPhone app, to be released next week, claims to be able to
>     detect adults posing as children to groom them. It aims to detect
>     adults with 100% accuracy (automatically suspect) compared to
>     childrens' own analysis, which apparently has 18% accuracy. It is
>     based entirely on linguistic measures of eg abbreviations,
>     sentence and word length, use of punctuation. This has had a huge
>     amount of publicity on national and local news here in the UK (it
>     is based on work carried out at Lancaster Uni in my area - you
>     won't be surprised to hear that it's the Comp Science department
>     and not linguistics that's been involved). I know that Tim Grant
>     has been working on texting, as have I to a lesser degree, and no
>     doubt others in other countries (any examples?). The first press
>     release and story is here on the BBC website:
>     http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-12249172
>     I've been on the verge of contacting various colleagues in the
>     local/national press and at Lancaster but until I have more
>     details of the app, I'm holding fire. Why do people in departments
>     across universities believe they are linguistic experts with no
>     apparent training or evidence? The app claims to be able to
>     indicate age and in some cases even gender. Perhaps someone found
>     a copy of Robin Lakoff's 'Language and Womens' Place'?
>     Janet

Natalie Schilling
Associate Professor
Linguistics Department
Georgetown University
453 Intercultural Center
Washington, DC 20057-1051

202-687-6211 (office)
202-687-6174 (fax)

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