As you may have seen in the press this week, Facebook and the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (the police agency set up to tackle child abuse) have joined forces to make young people safer online by launching the new ‘ClickCEOP’ application. Launching this week, all young users of Facebook – and their parents – are invited to add the new ClickCEOP ‘app’ to their profile. Through this app, they will be able to access advice, help and support from the CEOP Centre. Crucially,young people and parents can get support from CEOP on a range of issues – viruses, hacking, dealing with bullying online and they can report someone who is acting inappropriately towards them online.
The ‘app’ is the outcome of collaboration between CEOP and Facebook who have combined Facebook’s expertise in connecting and communicating online with CEOP’s expertise in helping young people stay safe. Once added to their profiles, young users will receive regular messages from CEOP and its partner organisations who operate ‘behind the button’ to make children safer. CEOP’s new Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ClickCEOP) will also contain polls, news alerts and status updates. The page will look at topics that teenagers care about, such as celebrities, music and exams and will link these subjects to questions about online safety.
Users can either add or bookmark the ‘app’ so it appears on their profile, as not only a constant source of help and reassurance for them but also as a strong visual signal to their friends, family and others that they are in control online.
The move is also being supported by an advertising campaign on Facebook that will encourage take up. This will include an automatic advert appearing on every profile of users aged between 13-18 years inviting them to add the app.
Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre said:
“Today represents a huge step forward. By adding this app, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCEOP button and this should provide reassurance for the many parents whose teenage children use Facebook. We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online. We urge all Facebook users not only to add the app, but also to bookmark it so that others can see that they’re in control online. Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCEOP button is well documented – this is a good day for child protection.”
Joanna Shields, Facebook’s Vice President for EMEA said:
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our users, which is why we have invested so much in making Facebook one of the safest places on the internet. There is no single silver bullet to making the internet safer but by joining forces with CEOP, we have developed a comprehensive solution which marries our expertise in technology with CEOP’s expertise in online safety. Together we have developed a new way of helping young people stays safe online and backed this with an awareness campaign to publicise it to young users. It is only through the constant and concerted effort of the industry, police, parents and young people themselves that we can all keep safe online – whether on Facebook or elsewhere.”