Facebook says no to panic button

Facebook today stopped short of introducing a panic button after meeting with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre. Instead it announced that existing links in the future will also report abuse to CEOP. 

“[Facebook] are one small step away from doing the right thing,” said chief executive of CEOP Jim Gamble in response to the move.

The four hour discussion between Facebook and CEOP on Monday comes after calls for more security measures on the social networking site after the murder of a 17-year-old girl in the UK. The "panic button" proposed would allow younger users of the service to contact authorities such as CEOP or other anti-bullying support groups should they feel threatened. 

Facebook's head of policy in Europe Richard Allen claimed the site is "one of the safest places on the internet". This after it became the most visited website in the US last month. 

Gamble did appear somewhat disappointed at Facebook's decision but remained positive about the future. 

"I am more optimistic than when I came. They are not saying no, that is very clear. But they were equally direct and they came with their own agenda."

 

Image Credit: Flickr

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28 Comments

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Interesting. I remember there used to be this warning button when I used AOL Instant Messenger. My friends and I would get into warning wars to see who got kicked off first.

yeah...I can see some little girl get ticked off at some little boy on Facebook and she turns him in. You can't put that kind of responsibility to decide when there is actual harassment or actual predatory things going on in the hands of a 13 or 14 year old kid.

If Facebook wants to do something like that...make it where if something is reported...then both accounts are reviewed by the authorities.

But you do have to be over 16 or 18 i think, but like most things people lie to get what they want.

I know someone what has made a profile for her baby boy and posted pictures of him on there.

My son is 14 and keeps bugging me to let him have a Facebook account bit I have told him no, because i do not think he is clued up enough yet to know about the things that happen on facebook.

I do think the panic button was a silly idea as others have said facebook has ample measures in place for people to block bullys and stalkers.

Deacon Brown said,

My son is 14 and keeps bugging me to let him have a Facebook account bit I have told him no, because i do not think he is clued up enough yet to know about the things that happen on facebook.

Hmm i dont know im seeing a problem here... I think you shoudl talk to him about it because he could just go behind your back and make one anyway, even if you block it at home he could do it somewhere else. Then he would keep it a secret and you would not know who he is talking to... On the other hand you could talk about it, let him have an acount and keep a check on him.

Deacon Brown said,
My son is 14 and keeps bugging me to let him have a Facebook account bit I have told him no, because i do not think he is clued up enough yet to know about the things that happen on facebook.

What things happen on facebook? I don't get this whole idea that somehow when a website is involved it becomes uber dangerous. All I see on facebook is people sharing pictures and status updates and playing Flash games. Teach your kid that posting on a public forum falls under the talking to strangers rule. You don't volunteer info to people you don't know, nor do you keep a public profile online that is visible to just anybody. Keep your friends and contacts limited to people you are actually friends with and you are good to go. The kneejerk reaction to all things online has gotten ridiculous IMO. Your kid is in more danger at the mall or walking to school than on a website.

If I ran facebook and this feature got passed, I'd just shut-down the site. If you're scared of using the internet don't use it; if you're not going to teach your child life, you shouldn't be allowed kids either then surely?

njlouch said,
Remind me again, what's the age you say you have to be to use Facebook?
i don't even think one has to be a certain age anymore, i've seen profiles that people have made for their kids/babies etc

Having a ceop button wouldn't have saved that girl. It only works if you know something is wrong when you're actually on facebook. If you have no reason to think that the 15 year old boy you're talking to is actually a 40 year old pedo then you aren't going to use this feature....
That's not to say that facebook don't need to provide ways for people to report things and teach people to be wary, but i don't see what benefit this would've had...

hutchinson_1989 said,
The "Panic Button" is a feature built into Windows Live Messenger (UK) and has existed since MSN Messenger.
Where?

hutchinson_1989 said,
The "Panic Button" is a feature built into Windows Live Messenger (UK) and has existed since MSN Messenger.

Would that be the red "X" in the upper right corner?

Why should Facebook be looking after children? Shouldn't children be able to go to there parents, guardians, family or friends if they feel threatened?

Lamp0 said,
Why should Facebook be looking after children? Shouldn't children be able to go to there parents, guardians, family or friends if they feel threatened?

Indeed. If you can look after what pops out of you, don't have kids.

Lamp0 said,
Why should Facebook be looking after children? Shouldn't children be able to go to there parents, guardians, family or friends if they feel threatened?

Exactly. Unfortunately you don't have to pass a test to procreate...

Good. It's a ridiculous knee-jerk overreaction from our government.. as has been said, it'd just get abused.

Kudos to Facebook for resisting it.

Chicane-UK said,
Good. It's a ridiculous knee-jerk overreaction from our government.. as has been said, it'd just get abused.

Kudos to Facebook for resisting it.

Exactly. Facebook have stated in the past that they have a system for reporting this sort of stuff already in place, and that the CEOP solution was far inferior than the current solution.

The problem here is that even if there was a giant red button to press, this girl unfortunately still would have died, since she was oblivious to the fact that he was a creep. The same applies to all similar incidents too. The people that need the "big red button" the most, are the ones who inevitably wouldn't press it.

Majesticmerc said,

Exactly. Facebook have stated in the past that they have a system for reporting this sort of stuff already in place, and that the CEOP solution was far inferior than the current solution.

The problem here is that even if there was a giant red button to press, this girl unfortunately still would have died, since she was oblivious to the fact that he was a creep. The same applies to all similar incidents too. The people that need the "big red button" the most, are the ones who inevitably wouldn't press it.

+1 unfortunately.

So what exactly is the purpose of such a button anyway?
Facebook already has a blocking feature, why can't people just use that o.0

Bag said,
So what exactly is the purpose of such a button anyway?
Facebook already has a blocking feature, why can't people just use that o.0

And I'm pretty sure every page, profile, group, etc has a report button near the bottom.

Squaids said,
I'm pretty sure that would be abused. It's a nice idea though.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. In the US you can get a fine for making false reports. I wonder if there would be some form of retaliation for doing so here as well... Fancy Button + immaturity = Click!...