Facebook Adds "Panic Button" To Protect Young Users

Well, this is one way to come back against the pundits who say that Facebook's privacy efforts aren't good enough. The world's most famous social networking site has been hit with a barrage of complaints over the past few months for not providing enough privacy to its users, and that really came to a head when Peter Chapman pretended to be a 17 year old male in order to lure a female in and murder her back in October of 2009.

It may be a few months late, but we have to confess that it's better than "never." Facebook has just enabled what essentially amounts to a "Panic Button," which allows users to hit a button if they enter into an uncomfortable chat or situation. What that button does is put them into contact with anti-bullying support or CEOP (among other sources), which will provided help in circumstances where one may be embarrassed to contact people without anonymity.

The partnership between Facebook and CEOP (ClickCEOP, or Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) has allowed this new button to be added, and an advertisement will be presented to users aged 13-18 asking them to install it. Obviously, this is still an optional add-on; those who don't want it will be able to sidestep it. But the promise of giving young users a way out of trouble is much-needed, and we can only hope that similar services follow suit.