Facebook Implements ‘Panic Button’ Application in UK

Facebook in the United Kingdom is set to allow users between the ages of 13 and 18 an opportunity to report inappropriate behavior to government child welfare authorities at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP).

Specifically, Facebook is debuting an application to these users via an announcement on their home pages that will walk them through the installation process. After the app is installed ,the user’s home page will note that they “are in control online.”

UK users can also learn more about the opt-in application on the CEOP Facebook Page, which educates users about online safety.

The Click CEOP button from the app allows users to both access Facebook’s resource page for bullying and other online problems, as well as report abuse directly to CEOP.

The so-called “panic button” became an issue in the UK after the rape and murder of a 17 year-old English girl by a 33 year-old sex offender posing as a teenage boy on Facebook in November.

Facebook’s Vice President of Facebook for Europe, the Middle East and Africa told The Guardian: “We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online. There is no single silver bullet to making the Internet safer but by joining forces with CEOP we have developed a comprehensive solution… and backed this with an awareness campaign to publicize it to young users.”

The Click CEOP button will allow users to report or block others for nudity, racism, bullying or unwanted contact. According to the latest figures from Inside Facebook Gold, the UK currently has 26.5 million users.