The Facebook child safety so-called “panic button” (which Facebook is keen to point out is more an education tool than an actual panic button) which launched in the UK last month has been proclaimed a success by the organisation behind it.
CEOP, the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, has issued figures today that show that the app, which adds a ‘ClickCEOP’ tab to a user’s profile, has had what they call “An excellent response”.
Over 55,000 people have downloaded the app, with over 5000 people using it to get access to help, advice and support from CEOP. CEOP notes that 13% of those who used the app to get help have gone on to get help about cyberbullying which has subsequently lead to an increase in referrals to charity Beatbulling’s Cybermentors support programme.
Perhaps the most interesting statsitic is that there have been 211 reports of suspicious behaviour via the app to CEOP online. CEOP says that in the four weeks prior to the app’s launch, Facebook saw 28 reports from the Facebook safety pages. That’s a 7.5 fold increase in reports. How many of these were genuinely cause for concern and how many were hoaxes or people merely testing the system isn’t stated. However, the very fact that there is now an easy, relatively well publicised way to get information on safety online and submit a report when appropriate is a positive thing.
When we looked at the app last month we noted that its position on a user’s own profile rather than on the news feed page is a flaw, as users are unlikely to visit their own profiles that regularly. Still, that’s more down to Facebook’s treatment of apps than anything else.