Today, Facebook revealed a new ‘panic button’ that will allow youngsters to quickly report any suspicious behavior they encounter to the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the social networking site. You can ‘Like’ or add the application by visiting http://www.facebook.com/clickceop.

CEOP is a government law enforcement agency aimed at tracking down sex offenders. Their chief executive, Jim Gamble described today as a “good day for child protection,” after months of urging the social networking site to adopt such a feature that is already present on sites like MySpace and Bebo. The agency notes that having a panic button can act as a “visual deterrent” to sex offenders. Facebook VP Joanna Shields also adds that,”There is no single silver bullet to making the internet safer but by joining forces with CEOP we have developed a comprehensive solution which marries our expertise in technology with CEOP’s expertise in online safety.”

According to Yahoo! News, an automatic advert for ClickCEOP will appear on the homepage of every user between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. Once the application is installed it will say “they are in control online” at the top of the screen. For social networking sites that allow interaction that’s open to almost all internet users, implementing safety precautions for children is an important step in the field of website design and development.

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