Keyword alerts are a useful tool to help Program Managers stay on top of mentor and mentee exchanges on the platform. All pair communication is scanned by the platform. When a keyword is found, the platform automatically sends an alert email to the assigned Member Admin of the pair's partner site.
We use a uniform list of keywords nationally in all programs, which can be found here. Keyword alerts are compiled and sent out each evening. For the more aggressive keywords on the list that require immediate attention, the platform will send alert messages hourly. Because regional terms and slang exist, local sites may request additional words be added to their list. Speak to your Program Manager if you would like to add keywords.
Example Alert Email
Alert emails to staff will be personalized, meaning they will contain information only for the cohort of the recipient staff member, including the full name of the mentor or mentee who triggered the alert, his email address, class, link to the content that contains the triggering keyword, and an excerpt with the keyword highlighted.
Here is an example alert email sent to the assigned Member Admin. The keyword is distinguishable by arrows and includes the sentence for additional context.
Exact Word Matching and False Alarms
The system only looks for exact matches of a word. For example, "Our rental car was a cool gunmetal blue." would not trigger an alert for the word "gun" even though we would typically alert for that word. This also means that if an alert is set up for the word "bread," permutations of the word including "breading," "breaded," and "breads" will not trigger the alert unless those words are also on the list.
The keyword search does not recognize misspelt words and does not take capitalization into account. So both "yahoo" and "Yahoo" will trigger an alert but "Yehoo" will not. Therefore, it is wise for Program Managers to regularly review pair communication.
The keyword search does not take the context of words into account. For example, "If I ever had to stand up and give a presentation in front of the whole school I would die." would trigger an alert for the word "die." Of course, the context in which the word or phrase was used will provide the case manager the knowledge necessary to intervene.