Following a meeting with the UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson Facebook says that it plans to add an extra layer to its reporting function in order to better protect younger users against cyberbullying and sexual predators.
The new layer of functionality will include links to support services i.e. BeatBullying and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) at the end of Facebook reporting function as well more support and advice as part of Facebook’s Safety Centre .
‘It’s crucial that people who feel they have been bullied online, can quickly get help. That’s why Beatbullying are pleased that Facebook are taking the right steps by working with third sector organisations like us and referring their users to a safe environment where they can get the correct support and advice they need," said Emma-Jane Cross, CEO of BeatBulling.
Dr Rachel O’Connell, expert on safety online and Chair of the Public Awareness Group of the Home Secretary’s Internet Task Force on Child Protection , said that these changes being brought about by facebook as well as its new partnerships are a significant step and "makes it more likely that young people will find the right help at the time they need it".
This news follows the recent conviction of Peter Chapman, a man who posed as a teenaged boy on the Facebook website, befriended and arranged to meet 17 year old teenager Ashleigh Hall before kidnapping, raping and murdering her – a tragic event that led to a fresh call for further child safety measures on social networking sites.
By Marie Boran