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Facebook ignores paedophile reports, says police

Complaints about grooming & bullying quadruple

More than 200 complaints regarding suspected paedophiles and incidents of cyberbullying on Facebook have been to the police in the last three months.

That's more than four times the number of complaints that were received about the site in 2009.

Jim Gamble, a senior policeman and head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), slammed the social network claiming it had failed to report any suspected paedophiles to the police.

"None of these complaints came direct from Facebook," said Gamble.

"If their system is so robust and they are receiving so many reports and concerns from young people, then where are they?"

Gamble also revealed he had "real concerns" over Facebook's refusal to install a 'panic button'.

Rival social network Bebo already offers a 'CEOP Report' button on every profile.

Clicking the button gives users access to advice and support from the CEOP along with nine other different sources of help, including Childline and Beatbullying.

However, last month director of policy for Facebook, Richard Allan, said while the button might be effective in principle, it would only work "for other sites", and not Facebook.

"Is Facebook so arrogant that it does not mind what the collective child protection community think?" said Gamble.

Gamble said that while Facebook staff were "experts commercially, but I do not see them as being experts in child protection. What Facebook do not understand is prevention, and acting as a deterrent".

"They need to make some decisions. Do they want to be the website of choice for bullies, for dangerous individuals, for rapists and murderers?"

Gamble said he was to meet with the social network in the US next week and plans to "tell them to do the right thing for child protection".

"We take the issue of safety very seriously, and recently met the Home Secretary to discuss online safety," Facebook said.

"We are due to meet with CEOP next week to talk them through our safety strategy. We will wait to have this meeting prior to sharing our plans more widely with the public soon afterwards."

See also: Facebook feud not over despite settlement


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