Facebook and Ceop agree 'panic button' deal

Ceop's panic button
Ceop's panic button allows users to report criminal activity

Facebook is launching an app which makes it easier for users to report suspicious behaviour online.

The social networking site is working with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Service, (Ceop) to try to improve safety for teenagers.

It is aimed specifically at children aged 13-18, and it will allow all users to download an application to install Ceop's 'panic button' onto their home page.

Once clicked on the button lets people report online abuse directly to its staff.

For months Ceop has been trying to get Facebook to install its panic button on every user's home page.

Facebook comments

But Facebook has refused, saying it already spends millions of pounds every year on making its site one of the safest in the world.

It says there is no "silver bullet" to make the internet safer.

Compromise deal

During the row everyone from MPs, to senior police officers and even the home secretary has had their say.

But now, after months of debate, it looks like both Ceop and Facebook have finally agreed to work together, with each side compromising.

Facebook still isn't automatically installing the panic button on every user's home page, something Ceop had originally wanted.

But by allowing the application to be downloaded by individual users it's giving Ceop the chance to see it spread round the site that way.

Facebook comments

Facebook still isn't automatically installing the panc button on every user's home page, something Ceop had originally wanted.

But by allowing the application to be downloaded by individual users it's giving Ceop the chance to see it spread round the site that way.

Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of Ceop, said: "Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCeop button is well documented - today however is a good day for child protection.

"By adding this application, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCeop button which should provide reassurance to every parent with teenagers on the site.

"We urge all Facebook users to add the app and bookmark it so that others can see that they're in control online."

Facebook spokesperson Joanna Shields said: "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.

"By joining forces with Ceop we have developed a comprehensive solution which marries our expertise in technology with Ceop's expertise in online safety. "

What do you think about the 'panic button'?