Facebook agrees to "Panic Button"

Mike Halsey MVP
Jul 12, 2010
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

After many months of pressure, social networking site Facebook has agreed to put a panic button for children and teenagers, according to the BBC.

The button will reports abuse to the UK Child Exploitation and Online protection Centre (CEOP) and to Facebook administrators.

The move follows months of negotiations between CEOP and Facebook, who initially resisted the idea of installing a button, saying their existing protections were good enough.

Other social network sites used by children and teenagers, such as Bebo and MySpace, have had a panic button available for a while now.

CEOP is a UK government law enforcement agency that is tasked with tracking down online sex offenders.  Forty four police chiefs in the UK had signed a letter backing the organisation's call for a button on every Facebook page.

Jim Gamble, Ceop's chief executive, said in a statement: "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."

Facebook have said the addition of a button is in addition to their existing help and reporting features adding "Ultimately though, this makes for a safer environment for users and that's the most important part."

In addition to the panic button a joint Facebook / CEOP page is being set up with a range of topics and subject areas of interest to teenagers.


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  1. Hotrao said on July 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    While I’m still convinced of Facebook not being able to handle a decent security approach, this could be the first wise move from them.
    Of course the panic button should not be seen as a “panacea”, because:

    a) seems to me to be based on an awareness assumption by the supposed victim that is not so easy to be acquired by children of lower ages (means that you can cheat the date and be subject to stalks)
    b) is still optional

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