Although we haven’t found confirmation on Facebook’s site (more to follow if/when that changes), Reuters reported yesterday that Facebook is introducing a Panic Button, in response to a big push by the UK’s Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre.
The button, especially aimed at helping minors under the age or 18, will allow young Facebook users to report threatening behavior and get help. According the Reuters article:
The application… will appear on their profile page when they add or bookmark the button, CEOP said. “We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online,” said Jim Gamble, chief executive of CEOP, adding that the button should provide reassurance to parents whose teenagers use the site.
The lone quote from Facebook on the new development:
“Together we have developed a new way of helping young people stay safe online,” Joanna Shields, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, Middle-East and Africa, said of the link-up.
As long as Facebook welcomes young users, as it currently does, making it as easy as possible for them to report anything that seems threatening is a great idea. The fact that Facebook makes no particularly effective effort in preventing minors under the age of 13 from joining makes this doubly so.
Stay tuned for new developments as they occur.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.