Scientists have developed a new web application which they claim could stop one from writing e-mails or posting messages on social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, when drunk. Once installed, the software, known as the Social Media Sobriety Test, is programmed to post a series of simple problems that, while easy enough to do sober, are intended to be fiendishly difficult to complete when intoxicated.

According to its developers, the Social Media Sobriety Test is designed to prevent alcohol-related posting to social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, the Daily Mail reported.

The application also stops people from using custom sites like Foursquare or blogs and web-based email accounts such as Gmail or Hotmail. Developed by web security firm Webroot, the test’s tagline is ‘Nothing good happens online after 1 am’.

It’s free to download.

Users are able to personalise it to choose which sites to block and then select the hours of the day that they are most likely to have enjoyed a few drinks.

If one wants to access social media sites during these times, one will have to pass a randomly selected sobriety test such as ‘drag your mouse in a straight line’, ‘type the alphabet backwards’, or ‘follow the finger’.

Another test challenges users to guess how long 30 seconds is by clicking on their mouse.

If the inebriated user fails one of the simple tests, a message can be posted on their Facebook or Twitter page that tells their friends they are ‘too drunk to post right now’, say its developers.

In an advert for the new download, Webroot uses the example of a person who has posted a message beneath a photo of a friend’s child which reads: “Your baby has a big head.”

A spokesperson for Webroot said: “Webroot is about protecting people online from cybercriminals.

“But let’s face it, sometimes online security also means protecting you from yourself when you think it’s a great idea to tell all of your Facebook friends — including your boss and your Mum — how you got wasted and fell over at the pub that night.

“That’s why Webroot launched the Social Media Sobriety Test. We saw an opportunity to remind people to be responsible on social networks, and to be humorous while talking about Internet security.”

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