« Previous | Main | Next »

Do you want a panic button on Facebook?

Claudia Bradshaw Claudia Bradshaw | 13:07 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Hi, I'm John Joe. I'm on my second day of work experience at World Have Your Say. One of the topics that we saw lots of people discussing in our editorial meeting was the issue of the Facebook 'panic-button' - or lack thereof.

Last month the social networking site came under pressure to introduce a panic button on its website after a man was convicted of murdering a 17 year old girl he had met on the website. He was posing as a young boy. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre have taken up the fight and have tried to persuade Facebook to install a button on every page of the site that will link to a helpline and advice page. Facebook haven't exactly jumped to introduce the measure.

But Facebook aren't ignoring the issue either: they will be introducing a 24 hour police hotline and a new awareness campaign. Just no panic button.

So why aren't Facebook keen to put it on their site?

The decision to omit the button hasn't exactly been met with agreement from parents on the web: David Sharland, a father who works in a school in Oxford said 'I think the decision by #facebook 2 continue 2 resist a panic button on their site is deplorable' on his twitter page. On Facebook Susan Warrillow posted 'keep the kids safe. shouldn't take that much. come on facebook'.

Facebook's Director of Policy, Richard Allen, tried to defend their decision by saying "It's not just about a button. There needs to be a safety net, and each website does it in the way that works for them"

Do you want a panic button on Facebook? Please leave your comments below.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.