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Some British parents may rest easier knowing that their teens can add a new safety feature to their profile page -- a "panic button." Developed by the The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), the Facebook application -- called ClickCEOP -- when downloaded, adds a special tab to a teen's Facebook page. If someone suspicious or potentially abusive contacts the kid on the popular social networking website, they can click the tab. It will take them to CEOP's "Advice, Help and Report" webpage, where they can instantly report the behavior to the organization (so it seems unlikely they'll falsely report someone through an official website like this one).
CEOP CEO Jim Gamble says in a statement, that “We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online.”
To promote the app, an advertisement for ClickCEOP will be displayed in the sidebar ads of British users ages 13 to 18. (Facebook requires teens to be at least 13 to sign on.) But I wonder whether kids (or their parents) will actually download the app and if they do, will they be brave enough to click the button if they're harassed online? Maybe not, but Gamble has a point; perhaps the mere presence of the "panic button" will keep predators away.
Sorry U.S. moms: for now, the application is for kids in the U.K. only -- but CEOP says that any U.S. reports that come in through their application will be referred to the proper authorities.
Do you think there should be a Facebook "panic button" for American kids, too? Would it Work? Chime in below!