Facebook Considers 'Panic Button' for Kids in UK

Social network Facebook has "no objection" to installing a "panic button" on its site.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson met with Facebook representatives this week following calls for the social network to offer a "panic button" that enables one-click access to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.

Concerns about the site's lack of links to the CEOP were raised after convicted sex offender Peter Chapman used the social network to contact and lure 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall to her death.

"I emphasized that including the CEOP abuse reporting button on their site has the potential to transform child protection -- and that the company should put this above all other considerations," the Home Secretary said.

Social network Bebo already offers a "CEOP Report" button on every profile.

Clicking the button gives users access to advice and support from the CEOP along with nine other different sources of help including Childline and Beatbullying.

The button will also offers information on the latest viruses, hacking and even contacts for local police that can deal with reports of cyberbullying. (See also "How Can You Keep Your Kids Safe Online?")

Facebook said it was "exploring ways to improve safety" and confirmed it was considering adding the button to the social network.

The social network also defended its current "robust reporting system" that allows users to alert the social network to abuse taking place on the site.

"This innovative system has been developed by analyzing millions of reports submitted over the years and testing ways to continually improve our system," Facebook said.

"The system effectively handles all manner of potential abuse we see on the site, ranging from the common minor breaking of the rules, such as embarrassing pictures, to the extremely rare serious matters that are quickly escalated to law enforcement."

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  • See also: Microsoft unveils child-friendly version of IE8

    This story, "Facebook Considers 'Panic Button' for Kids in UK" was originally published by PC Advisor (UK).

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