A REPORT BUTTON is now available on Facebook for teenagers after the social notworking outfit capitulated due to nine months of pressure that included a vociferous campaign on its own website.
The situation started to heat up for Mark Zuckerberg's site in November last year when the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) started calling for Facebook, and Myspace, to adopt a button after Bebo did, that would let children report contact from suspected dangerous individuals. In April Facebook told CEOP that it could not come to an agreement to adopt or test the adoption of the report button.
In response to this, the campaign page eventually had over 3,500 members and CEOP said that it also had the support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Childline, Beatbullying and the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The reasons CEOP says Facebook would not employ a button were that, it is not legally possible to make reports from the US to the UK, that CEOP does not have the capacity to deal with the volume of reports that would arise from embedding the button on all Facebook profiles, and that people find buttons confusing and are not an effective way of reporting. All claims that CEOP refuted.
In its embarrassing turnaround and capitulation, it was up to Facebook's EMEA VP Joanna Shields to say, "Nothing is more important than the safety of our users, which is why we have invested so much in making Facebook one of the safest places on the internet."
"Together we have developed a new way of helping young people stay safe online and backed this with an awareness campaign to publicise it to young users. It is only through the constant and concerted effort of the industry, police, parents and young people themselves that we can all keep safe online - whether on Facebook or elsewhere."
The button that is available from today for UK Facebook users aged 13 through 18 to include in their profile homepage will, when clicked on, put the user in contact with the CEOP advice and reporting centre.
The button's availability is also being supported by extensive advertising on Facebook that will encourage takeup of the application, including an automatic message that appears on every homepage of users aged between 13 to 18 years inviting them to add it. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score