Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
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Clarification about the outcome of CEOP’s meeting with Facebook

Some media have sought clarification about the outcome of CEOP’s meeting with Facebook which it was hoped would lead to improved child protection on the site.

Facebook contacted CEOP to explain that, having discussed the issues at their Californian headquarters, they could not come to an agreement to adopt or test the adoption of the CEOP button. This is a disappointing response following what was an open and honest meeting on Monday 12th April at their WashingtonDC offices.

We believe that Facebook is missing the point. This is not about Facebook and CEOP:  this is about child protection.

That’s why our call for the Click CEOP button on every profile page is supported by leading charities including the NSPCC, Childline and Beatbullying and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), all of whom are responsible for picking up the pieces when things go wrong and children are bullied, abused and murdered.

We will continue to urge Facebook and others to adopt our reporting process and in the meantime will look at other ways in which we can increase the safety of young people in online environments.

Dr Zoe Hilton, CEOP’s Head of Safeguarding and Child Protection said:
“Facebook’s promise to do better with regards to their relationship and information-sharing practice is simply overdue and they deserve little credit for doing what so many others do as a matter of course. Providing an awareness-raising campaign is very little, very late in the day.  It is no replacement for an effective and immediate response for children who need help while using their services.”

Dr Joe Sullivan, Principal Psychologist at CEOP said: 
“We know from speaking to offenders who have targeted children online that a visible police presence would have caused them to pause and potentially change their course of action. The risk of being reported by a child with easy access to law enforcement is likely to have more impact on the behaviour of an offender than simply being blocked, which would only temporarily frustrate them.”

Emma-Jane Cross CEO Beatbullying commented:
 "As a partner of CEOP, Beatbullying joins them in strongly recommending that Facebook add the CEOP report button.

“It is crucial that those who are being bullied online have access to immediate protection and help - at the click of a button.
"Beatbullying would welcome the opportunity to work with Facebook to help them set up the panic button system, something we have successfully campaigned for and done with Bebo and MSN.

"Our experience shows that this together with safe environments like our peer-to-peer support service, is the best way of protecting kids online and protect young people online.

Why will Facebook not embed the ClickCEOP button?
‘It is not legally possible to make reports from the United States to the UK’. Incorrect. there are no legal barriers to prevent Facebook adopting the CEOP button. CEOP receives reports on a regular basis from law enforcement partners in the US.

‘CEOP does not have the capacity to deal with the volume of reports which would arise from embedding the Click CEOP button on all Facebook profile pages’.

Incorrect. The button is already embedded in some of the most popular online environments. MSN Messenger, for example, has millions of users and CEOP receives a substantial number of reports from people using our button in that and in other leading online environments.

‘People find buttons confusing and are not an effective way of reporting’. Incorrect. Every month CEOP receives hundreds of reports from concerned parents, carers and children themselves. On average, CEOP receives four reports a day which indicate that a child may be at immediate risk. CEOP believes that the button is the most straightforward and effective reporting mechanism to access police services.

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