SecondFriend

SecondFriend provides an anonymous, secure, confidential chat helpline for kids.

No_avatar_small Submitted by Florian Rathgeber
Interactivism // Think Kids Pitch Day
How can we use tech to help under 18s get the most from the web and stay safe?

How can kids and young people today reach out for help for issues they're not comfortable asking their peers or parents? Existing support networks mostly provide telephone hotlines and have not appropriately responded to changing preferences of young people of today: they would rather use a text-based chat.

SecondFriend is a platform that provides a secure, anonymous, confidential communication channel between a young person and a trusted counsellor from a helpline or child support organisation.

The service has several entry points (with prototypes of 1. and 2. already in existence):

  1. a browser plugin (currently Google Chrome, will be ported to Firefox)

  2. a mobile-friendly website/webapp (native Android / iOS apps are planned)

  3. an SMS gateway that guarantees anonymity

SecondFriend has the potential to grow into a general emergency button for kids' online safety, integrating helplines, reporting of inappropriate content and essential information accessible with the click of a button.