Facebook Nixes 'Panic Button' to Protect Kids

Brits press site to add anti-pedophile 'button' on pages
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2010 4:08 AM CDT
"Our experience of trying to put icons on the normal reporting flow is that it can reduce the number of reports," says Facebook Europe's policy director.
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(Newser) – Facebook has rejected British calls to install a "panic button" on its pages for young people who suspect they are being targeted by pedophiles. Authorities urged the site to add the bright red button found on other social networking sites after a teen girl was raped and murdered by a man she met on Facebook. The company says it's instead beefing up its existing reporting procedures, the BBC reports.

Facebook officials say they quickly report serious incidents to law enforcement, and have found adding icons to its reporting function actually reduces the number of reports. British politicians are making online safety a key issue ahead of upcoming elections, although some experts say that the "panic button" issue is overblown and education is the real key to keeping children safe from predators. "Nobody suggested a 'panic button' for the mall," one social media expert tells AP.

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