Facebook first for British teens

2010-07-12 14:50

Teenagers using the social networking website Facebook in Britain

can add a new internet safety application from today to report suspected

predatory adults.

An automatic advert for the service will appear on the homepage of

users aged 13 to 18, encouraging them to add the facility on their Facebook

profile.

The application is a joint initiative between the website and the

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), which tackles the sexual

abuse of youngsters, including “grooming” through the internet.

Users will be able to bookmark the ClickCEOP service or add it as

an application to find information about online safety.

CEOP Centre chief executive Jim Gamble said they knew from speaking

to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people on the

web.

Calls for the inclusion of a “panic button” for youngsters grew in

Britain earlier this year after the conviction of a serial rapist who used the

site to pose as a young boy to lure and murder a teenage girl.

Joanna Shields, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle

East and Africa, added: “There is no single silver bullet to making the internet

safer but... we have developed a new way of helping young people stay safe

online.

“It is only through the constant and concerted effort of the

industry, police, parents and young people themselves that we can all keep safe

online.”

Britain’s crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said: “It’s a

sad fact that we are now seeing more cases where sex offenders are using social

networking sites to conceal their identities in order to contact children.

“While this solution provides real help, it is also vital that

government continue to work with industry, police, and parents to educate

children about the dangers they may face online.”


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