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Bebo gives users CEOP report button

Child protection organisation slams other social networks for not adopting the button

Following the news that Bebo is the worst social network for cyberbullying, the website has unveiled a new button that allows users to report incidents of abuse.

The 'CEOP Report' button, which has been created in conjunction with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, can now be found on every profile.

By clicking the button, users will be able to access advice and support from the CEOP along with nine other different sources of help including Childline and Beatbullying.

The button will also offer information on the latest viruses, hacking and even contacts for local police that can deal with reports of cyberbullying.

"Bebo is committed to providing its community with the safest possible environment; one that is based on respect, tolerance and inclusion,"said Stephane Panier, president of Bebo.

"By working in partnership with organisations such as CEOP, we are able to focus on creating an open, engaging and fun environment for our community.".

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said the button gives every member of the Bebo community one-click access to safety help and advice as well as that ultimate reassurance, the ability to find their local police or to speak to the organisation directly via the online reporting mechanism.

The CEOP said around 10,000 people a month are already pressing the button on other online service. However, Gamble critised other social networks including MySpace and Facebook for not adopting the button.

Gamble told the BBC: "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".

Facebook said the safety of its users was a "top priority" and it works closely with "police forces in the UK and around the world to create a safe environment".

"We look forward to hearing about the experience of Bebo using the CEOP button and will take account of their experience in any future evaluation of our reporting systems," said a spokesman.

Steve Furnell, senior IEEE member and head of the Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research at the University of Plymouth believes the CEOP report button is something that should be welcome.

"It gives young people a direct route towards help and support at the point of encountering problems online.  From a social responsibility perspective, providing links such as these should be an de facto expectation within any sites in which young people are expected or likely to be a tangible part of the audience." 

"Having said this, it is important to ensure that they are not viewed in isolation, and are supported by associated awareness raising activities," he added.

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See also: Cyberbullying affects 28% of teenage girls


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