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Facebook Refuses to Snitch
November 24, 2009 permalink
Facebook is one place parents can turn to for help when falsely accused by children's aid. They can reach out to others falsely accused, including victims with a long history of dealing with CAS who can offer good advice. Since communication is private, CAS cannot hold their statements against them.
Imagine the chilling effect of a button on each Facebook profile: "Report to CAS". It would put an end to use of Facebook for support. In Britain the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) wants just such a button on Facebook. To its credit, Facebook has refused.
Facebook battles attack by child protection chief
Gamble unfriends social networks
By Chris Williams, Posted in Policing, 18th November 2009 11:58 GMT
Facebook has defended itself against criticism from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) that it has refused to join a reporting scheme.
Jim Gamble, the chief executive of CEOP, today took to the airwaves and newspaper pages to attack Facebook and MySpace for declining to publish his organisation's "CEOP Report" button.
The button, a small icon that links to this website, offers information on bullying, computer security, illegal content and allows CEOP to gather reports of inappropriate behaviour online.
Gamble's public admonishment of Facebook and MySpace follows the announcement yesterday that Bebo will publish the button. The site, which has a young audience, has agreed to insert it in every profile page.
"I do not want my criticism to be taken as a swipe at the online industry. The vast majority of players are doing a good job and doing their best to make the environment safe," Gamble said.
"This is aimed specifically at social networking sites. They are creating a public space that attracts young people, children and adults, so they can make money through advertising. There is a responsibility, a duty of care, to the young and the vulnerable."
He charged there was "no legitimate reason" behind Facebook and MySpace's refusal.
He was backed by Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police officers, who said: "I can see no reason why other sites would not consider adopting the same approach and would encourage them to embed the CEOP Report button for the benefit of all users."
Orde and Gamble formerly worked together in the senior ranks of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, where the former was Chief Constable and the latter in charge of intelligence operations.
A public confrontation between Gamble and social networks has been brewing for some time. When The Register visited CEOP in September, Gamble's frustration at what he viewed as industry intransigence was palpable.
He said an earlier version of the button that included the word "abuse" had been redesigned to allay industry concerns it might cause unwarranted fear.
In response to today's attack, Facebook said it already has a robust reporting system and previous attempts at a universal system had reduced the level of reporting. It said some users aren't sure what is inappropriate content, and it could do a better job by liaising with police itself.
"We also work closely with police forces in the UK and around the world to create a safe environment. Our teams are manned by trained staff in two continents giving 24-hour support in 70 languages," a spokesman said.
Facebook did however seem to suggest Gamble might get his way in future.
"We look forward to hearing about the experience of Bebo using the CEOP button and will take account of their experience in any future evaluation of our reporting systems," it said.
The button has been available to websites since 2006. CEOP said it receives 10,000 clicks per month.
Source: The Register (UK)
Addendum: A cop with nothing better to do busted his Facebook "friends" Adam Bauer and Tyrell Luebker after finding pictures of underage drinking. For parents, posting bath pictures of children could send you down the Demaree route.
Facebook friend turns into Big Brother
By KJ LANG | email@example.com | Posted: Thursday, November 19, 2009 12:15 am | Loading…
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Adam Bauer has nearly 400 friends on Facebook. He got an offer for a new one about a month ago. “She was a good-looking girl. I usually don’t accept friends I don’t know, but I randomly accepted this one for some reason,” the 19-year-old said.
He thinks that led to his invitation to come down to the La Crosse police station, where an officer laid out photos from Facebook of Bauer holding a beer — and then ticketed him for underage drinking.
The police report said Bauer admitted drinking, which he denies. But he did plead no contest in municipal court Wednesday and will pay a $227 fine.
He was among at least eight people who said Wednesday they had been cited for underage drinking based on photos on social networking sites.
“I just can’t believe it. I feel like I’m in a science fiction movie, like they are always watching. When does it end?” Bauer said after court Wednesday.
Social networking sites are among many new tools law enforcement has adopted to
find underage drinkers, said La Crosse police officer Al Iverson, who works in alcohol compliance and education.
“Law enforcement has to evolve with technology,” Iverson said. “It has to
happen. It is a necessity —not just for underage drinking.”
Social networking sites are used to catch sexual predators as well, he noted.
But Bauer said, “I think there are a lot worse things (police) could be spending their time on.”
The photos officers found were of him, his roommates and a couple friends hanging out at his house, Bauer said.
“We were actually trying to be safe and not go out on the town and get crazy,” he said.
Bauer’s friend, 20-year-old UW-L sophomore Tyrell Luebker, also was tagged for underage drinking based on Facebook photos. He, too, pleaded no contest Wednesday.
“I feel like it is shady police work and a waste of taxpayer money to have him (an officer) sit on the computer on Facebook when he could actually be doing police work,” said Luebker.
Iverson pointed out the students still were caught in an illegal act, one they felt comfortable and confident enough about to put photos of on the Internet. Posting those photos, he added, helps glamorize alcohol consumption and binge drinking.
Someone else posted photos on a Facebook site of UW-L sophomores Brianna Niesen and Cassie Stenholt holding beer, but they still ended up in court Wednesday pleading no contest and getting fined.
The practice ultimately could hurt the positive alliance law enforcement wants to build with students so they will report crimes, Niesen said.
“I feel like it is a breach of privacy,” Stenholt said. “You feel like you should be able to trust cops.”
Source: LaCrosse Tribune
Addendum: Seven months later Facebook gives in.
Facebook finally bows to child protection calls and adds panic button
Facebook has bowed to pressure and provided a new application which allows young users to report suspicious behaviour.
All users of the social networking site will be able to access an advice centre from their home page where they will be able to report suspected grooming or inappropriate sexual behaviour.
It is the result of Facebook and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre joining forces.
An advertisement for the service will appear on the home page of all users aged between 13 and 18.
In the past, Facebook has been accused of arrogant complacency in the face of soaring complaints about online paedophiles.
Child protection teams have said cases involving bullies and sexual predators trebled on the networking site this year yet Facebook snubbed repeated requests to install a vital panic button.
The site came under fire earlier this year following the conviction of a serial rapist for the murder of schoolgirl Ashleigh Hall.
Peter Chapman, 33, posed as a young boy to lure the 17-year-old to her death in County Durham.
Click the logo below for the Facebook protection centre.
Source: Daily Mail