Facebook introduces optional ‘panic button’ for UK

12 Jul 2010

An initiative between Facebook and UK child protection agency CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) will see a direct link called ClickCEOP on users’ homepages, enabling them to both report inappropriate activity and access information.

CEOP’s ‘panic button’ is aimed at 13 to 18-year-olds in the UK and provides a dedicated facility to report instances of suspected grooming or inappropriate behaviour plus will provide the latest help on online safety.

The introduction of this new service today follows measures back in March 2010 when Facebook met with the UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson to discuss plans to introduce links to BeatBullying and CEOP at the end of its own reporting function.

“Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCEOP button is well documented – today, however, is a good day for child protection. By adding this application, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCEOP button which should provide reassurance to every parent with teenagers on the site,” said Jim Gamble, chief executive of CEOP.

The reporting button will be bolstered by a dedicated CEOP page that will seek to engage young people and provide information on online safety when ‘liked’. An automatic ad will also be added to the bottom of user pages of those aged 13-18, suggesting they add the application.

“We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online. We urge all Facebook users to add the app and bookmark it so that others can see that they’re in control online,” said Joanna Shields, vice-president for Facebook EMEA.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our users, which is why we have invested so much in making Facebook one of the safest places on the internet. There is no single silver bullet to making the internet safer but by joining forces with CEOP we have developed a comprehensive solution which marries our expertise in technology with CEOP’s expertise in online safety.

“Together we have developed a new way of helping young people stay safe online and backed this with an awareness campaign to publicise it to young users. It is only through the constant and concerted effort of the industry, police, parents and young people themselves that we can all keep safe online – whether on Facebook or elsewhere.”

For more information you can visit the CEOP Facebook page.