- Associated Press - Monday, July 12, 2010

LONDON (AP) — A new application was launched on Facebook on Monday by a British child protection agency to allow young users to report worrying or inappropriate behavior to child protection authorities.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center said their application — called “ClickCEOP” — gives children between ages 13 to 18 a place to report instances of inappropriate sexual behavior and other issues.

The application isn’t a so-called panic button, and doesn’t connect users immediately to authorities, the organization said. Rather, the application appears as a tab at the top of a user’s profile once it is added, and clicking it provides links to the organization’s website where bullying, sexual behavior or other online problems can be researched and, if necessary, reported.

An advertisement for the application will appear on the home pages of Facebook’s British teenage users. It is aimed at kids in Britain, but spokeswoman Vicky Gillings said harassment reported by teenagers in other countries would be passed on to law enforcement in those places.

Jim Gamble, the organization’s chief executive, said the application could help reassure parents whose children use the site, because “we know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online.”

Last month in the United States, Facebook — the world’s largest online social network — and the National PTA announced plans to build a program to promote Internet safety through a set of tools and resources for kids, schools and parents.


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