Major social networking websites have been criticised for not introducing a help button for children to report concerns about grooming and bullying.
Jim Gamble, from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), hit out at the sites as one site, Bebo, adopted the button. He said there was “no legitimate reason” why other sites like MySpace and Facebook had not done the same.
Ceop – the UK law enforcement agency tasked with tracing online sex offenders – says its Report button receives 10,000 hits a month on other websites. Clicking the button allows users to contact specially trained Ceop officers for advice. It also provides details of local police and links to 10 other sources of help including Childline.
The person that goes on with harmful intent – whether it’s the bully or whether it’s the paedophile – they know when they see it that there is an active deterrent here
Gamble added: “I am applauding Bebo – it’s taken us three years to get here. But I don’t understand – and there is more than Facebook in this – I don’t understand the logic for the others not following suit.”
Surely, the big social networking sites can afford to include a simple, easy means for a young ‘un to reach out for aid.