Santa may not actually be making a list and checking it twice (unless you still believe in him, that is), but there's still something out there determining whether or not we've all been naughty or nice — and because it's 2015, it's on the Internet. If you let it, the Social Santa web app will analyze your Twitter profile and file you under the mythical bearded dude's naughty or nice list. Think of it like the Sorting Hat, only with fewer House options — one of which is obviously Slytherin.
Social Santa isn't exactly new — as the app notes on its homepage, 2015 is its second year in existence — but it's a fun little tool, so if you missed it last time round, it's worth checking it out this season. In order for it to work, you first need to give it access to your Twitter profile; then, once you've signed in, the app's “magical digital elves” — that is, a neat-o little algorithm — “will use their tech wizardry to look back through the last thousand or so tweets you've posted. Yep, even the embarrassing ones and the drunken late night rants about reality TV shows.” From there, it will count up the number of “naughty” words you've used and the frequency with which you use them and calculate a score for you.
Granting Social Santa permission to see your profile works pretty much the same way such permission do for your Facebook profile — the web app will get info about your tweets and who you follow, but it won't be told what your password is or anything like that. After you give it the go-ahead, all you need to do is click the button…
Wait a moment (and I do mean a moment — we're talking a couple of seconds here)...
I'm not super active on Twitter these days, and I don't tend to swear a lot when I write; as such, it's perhaps unsurprising that I ended up on the “Nice” list. At the same time, though, I also know that I curse a lot in real life — so maybe my Twitter feed isn't the best indicator of my relative naughtiness or niceness.
For the curious, here's my one swear — it's three year's old:
In my defense, people who drive around highly populated areas with their stereos dialed up to 11 and their windows rolled down are the actual worst.
Also worth noting: I'm not totally sure how the app separates out “naughty” words from “nice” ones. In its privacy note detailing what Social Santa does and doesn't keep track of, the website states, “We will only ever keep a record of the number of times you 'did a swear'”; additionally, my own results suggest that yes, it's just about how often you use swear words. I'd be curious to know, though, whether “naughty” language also encompasses other derogatory modes of speech — racist slurs, homophobic and/or transphobic language, sexism, and so on.
Do with all that what you will.
In any event, Social Santa a cute little tool that will boost your holiday spirit in just a couple of clicks. Just for funsies, the app has also compiled a list of the naughtiest celebs out there (Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle holds the number one spot right now, followed closely by Rihanna), as well as ones for the overall naughtiest and nicest users. According to the Naughty vs. Nice battle stats, the naughty folk are winning right now; there are 271,607 users on it as of this writing, while Team Nice boasts only 190,976.
Want to swell the ranks a little? Give Social Santa a try here. Just, y'know… prepare yourselves for some coal. Or… something.