Facebook and the Panic Button

April 15, 2010  |  Facebook

Ever feel like you need to hit the “Panic Button”?  It usually happens to me when a “friend” has talked me into getting on a ride at an amusement park.  You know, one of those truly scary rides with eight tentacles that catapult you into the clouds.  As soon as I’m up in the air, my stomach starts screaming for my Mommy.  I’d love to hit a panic button.  But there isn’t one.  Face it…You’re stuck there, dangling in space, wishing you could be anywhere else but where you are.  Well the same thing can happen in cyberspace… especially if you’re a kid. You can be stuck and scared and desperately wanting your Mommy.  Now comes word police in Great Britain are supporting the call for a panic button on Facebook. (More…)

Police chiefs in the UK have signed a letter in support of “The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre” (CEOP).    As it stands now, Facebook already has a system in place which allows users to report suspicious behaviour or abuse of any kind to the networking site administrators.   The company has now agreed to modify that system in Britain so that users can file their report directly to CEOP as well.   (A similar system is in place in the US.)   But the folks at CEOP say that isn’t enough.  They want to see a “Panic” button on each and every page so that users can immediately report suspicious behaviour and/or suspected pedophiles.  The request comes in the wake of a murder in Britain that saw a 33 year old man kill a 17 year old girl after meeting her on Facebook using a fake ID.

Does Facebook need a panic button?  Are our children savvy enough to know when something is suspicious?  Would they use a panic button if they had one?  And if there was a panic button, would it take all the fun out of FB?  What do YOU think?

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  1. Sharon – You make a great point. The very idea of a panic button BEING there might be enough to make some predator think twice about moving in on an innocent child. Kind of like the emergency chute in a parachute kit. You may never use it, but it sure feels good to know it’s there. Time will tell whether the execs at Facebook and the politicians will ever put their heads together and make it happen. In the meantime, we all need to encourage our local governments to listen to what we think about it!!!

  2. A panic button on a social networking site like Facebook might really be a good idea. Even if it’s not consistently used, the fact that it CAN be used and MIGHT be used could be enough to prevent some predators and abusive types from making their moves. It may not solve the problem but even if it reduces the problem and perhaps causes some people to think twice before making a regrettable choice, then it would be a positive addition.
    For those of us who use the site responsibly and actually use our noggins before making statements, the panic button won’t make a whit of difference in our day-to-day facebook experience. Panic Button?? Bring it on!!!

  3. Facebook on your mind today? It’s on someone else’s mind, too… Radio Host/Producer/All-round Funny Guy Mark La Pointe wants you to POKE YOURSELF!!! You’ll know what he means when you check out his latest blog at http://www.killervoiceovers.ca/the-latest

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