Facebook Adds "Panic Button" To Protect Young Users

Well, this is one way to come back against the pundits who say that Facebook's privacy efforts aren't good enough. The world's most famous social networking site has been hit with a barrage of complaints over the past few months for not providing enough privacy to its users, and that really came to a head when Peter Chapman pretended to be a 17 year old male in order to lure a female in and murder her back in October of 2009.

It may be a few months late, but we have to confess that it's better than "never." Facebook has just enabled what essentially amounts to a "Panic Button," which allows users to hit a button if they enter into an uncomfortable chat or situation. What that button does is put them into contact with anti-bullying support or CEOP (among other sources), which will provided help in circumstances where one may be embarrassed to contact people without anonymity.

The partnership between Facebook and CEOP (ClickCEOP, or Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) has allowed this new button to be added, and an advertisement will be presented to users aged 13-18 asking them to install it. Obviously, this is still an optional add-on; those who don't want it will be able to sidestep it. But the promise of giving young users a way out of trouble is much-needed, and we can only hope that similar services follow suit. 
Via:  Yahoo! Tech
AKwyn 4 years ago

This should help cut down on the number of crimes that are committed on Facebook and the number of bullied people. I don't know why this partnership wasn't established before, it could of saved a whole lot of lives and that woman would of been alive. At least the only thing we have to worry about are those adamant privacy issues that still roam Facebook.

crowTrobot 4 years ago

No amount of panic button is going to do better than decent parenting... there is no reason for minors to be online on their own, even if they are 13 and 14 and 15 years old, its the parents job to monitor the children's online usage and know what's going on in their facebook/twitter accounts etc.  I have co-workers who have no idea that their children have facebook accounts, there really is no reason a parent shouldn't know that their kid has one when everyone in the world can see it. 

acarzt 4 years ago

I didn't realize crime was such a problem on facebook lol

Better make the kids carry a rape whistle.

AKwyn 4 years ago

It's okay for parents to know if a kid has an account but it's really not a recommended idea to spy on them. Even though they're not mature enough, they're human beings and they should have the right to use the internet like any other human being. Call me a bad parent if you will but that's how I feel, only talking to your kids can properly educate them about the internet, not censoring it for them.

Inspector 4 years ago

Hum, i thought they don't want kids/teens to signup for facebook seeing that they don't allow me to change my profile as im under 18 -.- so how will they know a person is under 18 as kids don't use their own age anyways...

acarzt 4 years ago

My kids will only be allowed to visit website that were approved by me first :-)

lifeskills 4 years ago

If people who met on the internet are going to meet in person, I doubt they are going to have Facebook open with the mouse hovering over the panic button. A crime could still be committed long after the chance to hit the "panic" button has passed.

acarzt 4 years ago

Yea, I was thinking the same thing... You can report the crime but the damage is already done... They need a better method of PREVENTING the crimes from ever happening.

Nethersprite 4 years ago

This sounds like a really good idea, but when you think about it there's no real value in it. Someone who got suckered into thinking they're about to meet their soulmate won't hit any panic buttons like lifeskills said. And even if they have the common sense to know something is wrong (something like, I don't know, the prom queen falling for the nerd sitting at his computer trying to get a girlfriend over the Internet), can't you just close the chat and call the police if the other person persists? This CEPOP rubbish isn't a police force; they can't track down the IP address of the stalker/predator like the authorities would, which is what would actually get something done. And as for prevention, like acarzt said, it's up to the parents to teach common sense and Internet safety.

digitaldd 4 years ago

This sounds like a good idea but how many kids are going to hit the Panic button?

mtptl 4 years ago

The button will give users direct access to the CEOP's advice and reporting centre – ClickCEOP – from their homepage giving them the very latest help on online safety, as well as a dedicated facility for reporting instances of suspected grooming or inappropriate sexual behaviour.

The application will be backed by a new CEOP page that, when ‘liked', will look to engage with young people to help raise the profile of online safety. An automatic advert will also appear on the homepage of every user aged between 13 and 18 years old, inviting them to add the application.

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