Facebook Installs ''Panic Button,'' May Come to US

Monday the UK portal of Facebook will receive a "panic button" for British users aged 13 to 18-years-old. The "button" comes after many months of negotiations with the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP), and will allow minors to report criminal activity such as "grooming, "sexual behavior, cyber-bullying, hacking, and more. However the new tool won't send up flares or nuke offending accounts--the tool will merely link to places where reports can be made, and to important internet safety messages.

When asked why Facebook finally caved in to the pressures of the British authorities, Stephen Beard said that the decision was related to a rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl last October. "She was killed by a 33-year-old sex offender who she'd met on Facebook. He'd been posing as a teenager," he said. "So now Facebook has agreed to this new panic button for young British Facebook users. If they're worried about cyber-bullying or that they're being stalked, they can click on a link to a British law enforcement agency and report their suspicions."

There was also talk that the virtual "panic button" will head to the States. "One analyst I was talking to this morning said he thinks it will, that eventually Facebook will install a direct reporting link to the U.S.'s national center for missing and exploited children. But there are many skeptics out there who say actually the best way to curb this kind of abuse, bullying and stalking and so on is for Facebook itself to become a lot more vigilant about the people it allows onto its site."

According to the Huffington Post, the "panic button" will be optional, and Facebook will not be required to install it by default or display the tool on each page. Instead, Facebook will donate advertising to promote the jointly-created application and display it on every UK teen's home page. Although the CEOP will have a presence on the social networking site, apparently Facebook will continue on with its internal reporting system.

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  • blurr91
    Any chance that this "panic button" might be mis-used?
    19
  • Humans think
    A minor alert for the rest should also be helpful!

    You are talking to Tania, no age specified. A pop-up comes out

    "Tania is a minor, in certain countries the use of sexual innuendos is considered a felony"

    -bb Tania got to go

    Also I believe that the panic button should be in the main interface, not an app.
    14
  • mr_tuel
    Kids do stupid stuff. Some unfortunately die because of stupid stuff. I've lost many friends because of stupid stuff. It is a fact of life. This button won't change that.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • Humans think
    A minor alert for the rest should also be helpful!

    You are talking to Tania, no age specified. A pop-up comes out

    "Tania is a minor, in certain countries the use of sexual innuendos is considered a felony"

    -bb Tania got to go

    Also I believe that the panic button should be in the main interface, not an app.
    14
  • blurr91
    Any chance that this "panic button" might be mis-used?
    19
  • killerclick
    They can already block any user that bothers them, I guess this button is simply a link to where they can report it.
    5