Calls for a Facebook panic button- why its misguided

Considering when so many of the population are internet literate now days, it always makes me cross when newspapers and TV stations employ people who haven’t the slightest clue what they’re reporting on.

I’m picking on the BBC here but the quotes could have as easily come from any newspaper of TV Station:

Calls for Facebook to place a “panic button” on its pages have received the support of 44 police chiefs in England, Wales and Scotland, it has emerged.

Facebook said an existing link allowing users to report abuse will in future enable a report to be made to Ceop.

The dispute comes after Peter Chapman, 33, was last month jailed for killing Ashleigh Hall, 17. He made contact with her while using a false identity on the social networking site.

Can someone explain how a nice shiny red button on a website would protect a teenager from a stranger she has met in public? Or is this just another moral panic fuelled by the technically illiterate press? This is simply the case of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) centre pushing its own agenda and the press have picked it up and are doing their work for them.

A sad fact is that research into web habits of 14 to 19-year-olds across Europe found that 51% enjoy unfettered access to any and every website. No parental supervision whatsoever.

There are ways to look after kids on line, I wrote about it on wifey’s blog last year when I had a go with Cyberpatrol. Just expecting everyone else to police your kids isn’t responsible.

And it’s not responsible for 44 Chief Constables to suggest a big red panic button is the panacea to online grooming either.