Facebook Agrees to Panic Button

Measure on UK site aims to fight online predators
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2010 3:37 AM CDT
In this August 27, 2009 file photo, the social networking site Facebook login webpage is seen on a computer screen in Ottawa, Can.   (AP Photo.The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld, file)

(Newser) – Conceding to pressure from child protection advocates, Facebook has agreed to put a "panic button" on every page of its site in the UK. The button, aimed at children and teenagers, will send an alert to both Facebook and a government child protection agency. The agency had called for the button in the wake of the rape and murder of British teen Ashleigh Hall by a 33-year-old-sex offender posing as a teenage boy who she met on the site

Facebook initially resisted the button, saying its own controls were sufficient. It agreed to the measure after months of negotiation and after 44 police chiefs in the UK signed a letter backing the call for a panic button on every Facebook page. Rival sites MySpace and Bebo also have the button. "Both sides are happy of where we have got to," a Facebook rep told the BBC.

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