Facebook may get panic button

Some 140 UK companies have signed up for a new voluntary code to be announced by the government this week aimed at keeping kids safe online.

Facebook and other networking sites are said to be considering the installation of panic buttons enabling children to alert admins if ‘inappropriate’ material is posted. The Sunday Timesreports 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 tomorrow (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. 

“Gordon Brown is expected to make an announcement about installing the ‘panic button’ on PCs tomorrow,” a Facebook spokesperson told TG Daily.

“This relates to a program the UK Government has for buying around 270,000 PCs for poor families. As the Government is buying these PCs they can install any software they want on them including having the panic button in the pre-installed browser.”