CEOP calls for 'help' button on social networks

CEOP Report button

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre has called on social networks to do more to protect children using their sites.

Namely, it wants them to follow the lead of Bebo in adding the CEOP Report button to profiles. The link leads to advice about online security, help with cyber bullying, as well as contact details for local police.

It also lets users get in touch with CEOP officers to report online misdeeds. CEOP said 10,000 people a month already use the button to access such services.

Bebo added the button this week alongside its existing abuse reporting functions - and a good thing too, as a recent report said the site was the worst for cyberbullying.

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre said: "For so long now we have been saying that we must treat the internet in the same way as any other public space protecting young people by giving them and their parents and carers the authoritative back up that safeguards their interests and deters potential offenders."

"Today Bebo has made another positive move towards protecting the wellbeing of its users," he added in a statement. "Our challenge to other social networking site providers is to match the commitment made by AOL Bebo today and to help make young users safer across all social networking sites."

Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, echoed the sentiment: "I can see no reason why other sites would not consider adopting the same approach and would encourage them to embed the CEOP Report button for the benefit of all users."