Facebook and other networking sites are to install panic buttons enabling children to alert administrators if ‘inappropriate’ material is posted. The Sunday Times reports that 140 companies, charities and other groups have signed up to the code and that Home Secretary Alan Johnson is set to announce the new scheme today (Tuesday). The initiative also includes the obligation for sites to provide ‘safe search’ facilities, allowing parents to restrict access to offensive pages. The government will also launch a national advertising campaign aimed at parents, teachers and kids.
Facebook has formed a safety advisory board comprised of five Internet safety organizations to consult with the social-networking site on issues related to online safety, the company announced Sunday.
Facebook said it plans to meet regularly with board members to review the existing safety resources it provides its users, develop new materials, and seek advice on general safety best practices.
“We believe that the only way to keep kids safe online is for everyone who wants to protect them to work together,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of global communications and public policy, said in a statement. “The formation of a board to advise specifically on safety issues is a positive, innovative and collaborative step towards creating a more robust safety environment, and we are thrilled that such a well-respected, trusted group of organizations has joined us in this endeavor.”
Facebook cited the new board as being part of an effort that includes cooperating with state attorneys-general to rid the social-networking site of registered sex offenders.
The board’s formation comes on the heels of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announcing Tuesday that more than 3,500 sex offenders from his state had been purged from Facebook and MySpace.
The five organizations on the board are Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, WiredSafety, Childnet International and The Family Online Safety Institute.