Facebook backtracks on 'panic button'

Tool could deter victims from reporting abuse

Facebook has backtracked on plans to install a 'panic button' on the social network that would allow users to report abuse.

During talks with the Home Secretary Alan Johnson yesterday, the social network initially said it had "no objections" to adding the CEOP Report button to the site.

Rival social network Bebo already offers users the button, which gives users access to advice and support from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre along with nine other different sources of help including Childline and Beatbullying.

The button also offers information on the latest viruses and hacking threats, and provides contacts for local police that can deal with reports of cyberbullying.

However, director of policy for Facebook, Richard Allan, said while the button might be effective in principle, it would only work "for other sites", and not Facebook.

Allan also said the button could deter victims from reporting abuse.

"Our experience of trying to put icons on the normal reporting flow is that it can reduce the number of reports."

Instead, the social network will offer users have links to organisations including the CEOP.

"When somebody has reported something to Facebook, at the end of that reporting process they can be given a text box linked to those resources (such as CEOP)."

This isn't enough for Jim Gamble, chief executive of the CEOP, who believes a CEOP Report button should be installed on every profile.

"Facebook is a great environment, they are experts on advertising and engaging with young people in those areas where you can get click-through. But they're not experts on child protection," he added.

The Home Secretary met with Facebook representatives following a number of concerns about the site's lack of links to the CEOP, which were raised after convicted sex offender Peter Chapman used the social network to contact and lure 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall to her death.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Facebooksocial networking

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Carrie-Ann Skinner

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?