Facebook resists calls for panic button

Facebook is resisting UK Government calls to add the CEOPS panic button to the web site. The asocial notworking site is under pressure to improve protection for minors following the rape and murder of teenager Ashleigh Hall.

Despite the fact that a chinless pervert was able to pretend to be a teenager to lure an innocent to her death, managers of the site claim it's as safe as houses.

Richard Allan is an ex-MP and Facebook's spokesman on European public policy. He told BBC Radio 5 Live he thinks Facebook is safe enough, without a panic button.

The spinner said: "We simply believe we have some very effective reporting mechanisms already on the site."

These, he insisted are, "very simple and well understood by our users and what they allow us to do is have really good real-time intelligence about the kind of activities taking place on the site. And when there are issues of concern we have a very strong team of technology experts who are then able to intervene and try and stop things happening before they become dangerous."

Other social noodling sites popular with children such as Bebo have incorporated the panic button on their sites. But Allen reckons Facebook is "one of the safest environments out there on the Internet".

"Facebook will remove any reported photos of nudity or pornography from our site. That is not the case everywhere," he told Five Live. As if that was the point.

"Since we launched the button in 2009, we have carried out careful analysis to look at varying sites who haven't adopted our service and the trends are worrying."

"This is just not good enough," said Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit (CEOP). "Their argument for not putting our button into their environment, in my opinion, doesn't hold water."