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News from the field

British Organisation Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) offers help button on Facebook

Published on: 13.07.10
Source: CEOP

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre stands up for the protection of sexual abuse of children and works for the UK policy of discovering sexual offenders and bringing them to court. Besides the CEOP Centre works closely together with industry, community and children´s charities in order to explore all possibilities and options.

Currently CEOP has evaluated an initiative with the social network Facebook to protect children and youngsters when surfing on the platform: Users between 13 and 18 have now the possibility to access the reporting Centre of CEOP via the so called "ClickCEOP" button to announce dangerous situations and to get support from experts who have experience with sexual offenders.

The access to the button is possible by using an application that can be bookmarked or installed as a plug-in and has not only the function as a source of help but also as a visual signal that symbolises quick help in situations where a teenager could feel powerless because of inappropriate sexual behavior of an other user.

Facebook supports the announcement of the button by an automatic advert-message that appears on every homepage of users between 13 and 18 years; the advert requests them to install or bookmark the application. Joanna Shields, Facebook’s Vice President for EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) said in a press-release that the button is a new way of helping children and teenagers to surf safely, and the image campaign of the button also implies the message that children should be aware.

Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre adds that projects like the button could deter sexual offenders and for this reason it is necessary that young users have the application installed so that they can quickly press the "ClickCEOP" button thus demonstrating that they are well protected. Furthermore James Brokenshire, Minister for Crime Prevention said in the press-release that sexual offenders are surfing more and more networks like Facebook because there they are able to hide their real identity and to get in contact with young children in an easy way. Therefore the button provides real help.

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