Home U.K. Child Protection Agency Sees Increase in Reports from Facebook “Panic Button”

U.K. Child Protection Agency Sees Increase in Reports from Facebook “Panic Button”

Last month, the U.K.-based Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) launched a so-called “panic button” on Facebook. The organization intended to make it easier for Facebook’s younger users to report cyberbullying, hacking attempts, harmful content, unwanted sexual advances and other forms of abuse.

The organization announced this week that the button has been used more than 200 times over the past month, a drastic increase from the 28 reports seen from the Facebook safety pages in the four weeks prior.

The CEOP says that, so far, its Facebook application has seen “an excellent response,” with more than 55,000 downloads of the app, 20,000 new fans and 5,000 unique visits to “help, advice and support pages on a range of online safety issues.” In the time since the button’s launch, the CEOP has received 211 reports.

According to the BBC, the button has lead to an “increase in reports” with some containing some “very serious allegations,” but the organization would not say whether or not it was the highest it had ever seen.

Facebook had originally resisted adopting the button – and still, it is only an app and not an integrated feature on the site – saying that it had a “trained staff in two continents, giving 24-hour support in 70 languages” to handle issues of online abuse. CEOP’s release quotes Facebook’s VP of operations in Europe, Joanna Shields, as saying that there is “no single answer to making the Internet safer” but that the CEOP is a “great step forward.”

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