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Facebook gives one-click protection to U.K. minors

Facebook on Monday introduced a child safety application for its U.K. users, allowing them in one click to reach law enforcement responsible for protecting children from abuse.

The application, which can be downloaded to a home page or bookmarked, is aimed at users ages 13 through 18 and enables them to get advice from or report incidents to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection center of suspected of predatory behavior toward a minor.

It’s not quite the “panic button,” the CEOP has argued should be automatically placed on the homepage of every user in the U.K. under 18 years old. But the application, which is downloaded voluntarily, gives users access to CEOP’s information and resources and allows them to report crimes and suspicious behavior.

The visibility the application, the agency said, is one key to deterring predators.

“We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online,” said Jim Gamble, chief executive of the CEOP center, in a release.

Facebook said the application is being controlled by CEOP, but the social network is advertising the application, which can be downloaded starting Tuesday.

Facebook, with 400 million users worldwide, said the best outreach for online safety is the sharing of information between friends.

“Young people don’t always listen to their parents, teachers or police,” said Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Facebook. “CEOP can use Facebook to help teens spread the world on Internet safety, bolstering our existing resources.”

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 12, 2010; 11:57 AM ET
Categories:  Facebook , Kids Online  
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Doesn't the Post have some business relationships with Facebook?

Posted by: ObamasGulfResponseIsMuchWorseThanKatrina | July 12, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

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