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Facebook refuses to bow to government on panic button


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Social networking site will add Ceop button, but only on its Safety Centre

Facebook has confirmed after a meeting with the home secretary that it will install a panic button on its site for users to report suspected paedophiles, although it will only appear in the Safety Centre section of the site.

Yesterday, V3.co.uk reported that it was looking increasingly likely that the social networking site would install the Ceop panic button, in much the same way that it appears on the MSN Live Messenger service.

It was understood that there had been a frank exchange in which home secretary Alan Johnson insisted that the site included the button as a means of helping younger users tackling threatening approaches.

According to a Facebook spokesperson late yesterday, this will now happen but in a compromised form.

Rather than place the button prominently on its page, Facebook will place it in its Saftey Centre, which is said is "a really sensible place for it to be, amongst all our other help and safety information.

"We also explained that we are exploring ways to improve safety and these include adding links to a number of additional organisations, including Ceop and BeatBullying, on Facebook's reporting pages," the spokesperson continued.

"This would improve our existing reporting structure and provide people with more options should they want to report unwanted contact to Ceop, Beat Bullying or another organisation".

Facebook added that it would meet with Ceop at a later date to discuss the plans.

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