Triage in stalking and harassment cases

As some of you know, I feel strongly that dealing with cases of stalking and harassment should not be a police matter. Instead, new organizations should be set up, with specialized investigators, psychologists and psychiatrists as well as experienced IT experts. (white paper)

Triage should be standard. There should be tailored approaches for how to deal with – for example – an autistic individual who is perceived as a stalker and a psychopathic or schizophrenic individual who is harassing someone, not to mention the regular hiccups that go with broken relationships, with the guy genuinely believing he can still patch things up while the woman has moved on and reports his behaviour as harassment and/or stalking.

Well, one method you could use in triage is language analysis.

This kind of analysis has also been used to detect trolls on Twitter, if memory serves me right. I seem to remember having read a study that found psychopathic traits in the word patterns of trolls, something along those lines. That’s the written word.

You might also be able to use it for the spoken word. Psychopaths, for example, aren’t smooth talkers, I just learned from the video below. That struck me as a little funny because I happen to dislike listening to one particular neuroscientist who imaged his own brain, discovered he is a psychopath and now gives lots of public appearances about this discovery. That’s because of the relatively clumsy way in which he speaks. Lots of “dysfluencies”. Wouldn’t it be handy if that turns out to be some kind of golden rule? If only…! It takes a little bit more than that, obviously. It’s certainly not true that all people whose speech is not fluent are psychopaths and it isn’t even true that all psychopaths pose a problem.

Note that this video is from 2012.