Facebook Launches Help Center to Address Concerns About Child Safety

Facebook launched a new Safety Center today as part of the company’s effort to create a more comfortable social environment, and also in response to concerns from parents, educators and law enforcement, according to its press release and a blog.

The Safety Center offers tips, answers frequently asked questions, offers advice and other general information divided into main topics: General Safety, Safety for Educators, Safety for Law Enforcers, Safety for Parents, Safety for Teens.

Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan writes in a blog post that safety is Facebook’s “top priority,” and that the Safety Center was created in conjunction with the company’s Safety Advisory Board, created at the end of 2009, to present information in a way that’s easy to navigate.

The Safety Center provides content from Facebook as well as other organizations that focus on online safety, such as: Childnet International in the United Kingdom, non-profit Common Sense Media, Connect Safely, The Family Online Safety Institute and WiredSafely.

It includes content like “Addressing Personal Safety” and “Responding to Objectionable Content,” as well as information on cyberbullying, how to report pedophiles, information for parents like “How do I teach my teen to use the Internet wisely?” and “Can I ‘friend’ my teen on Facebook?”

Facebook seems to be moving to address problems that have been popping up related to safety issues on the social network. Most recently, after the death of a young girl at the hands of a man she met on Facebook, there was an outcry in the UK for the so-called “panic button” to alert authorities to potential pedophiles on the site. Facebook declined to do that, but this effort is another move intended to allay the inevitable safety concerns that arise from running a large social network.