What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

U.K. Facebook’s ‘panic button’ could spark change to U.S. site

Stephen Beard Jul 12, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

U.K. Facebook’s ‘panic button’ could spark change to U.S. site

Stephen Beard Jul 12, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: Today, Facebook gave in to pressure from British authorities and installed a “panic button” on its U.K. website. So now kids can report bullying or suspicious behavior to authorities immediately. From London, Stephen Beard joins us live to talk about that. Hi Stephen.

Stephen Beard: Hello Bill.

Radle: Facebook has resisted some changes to its child safety and privacy policies before. Why this decision now?

Beard: As a result of enormous political and police pressure here following the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl last October. She was killed by a 33-year-old sex offender who she’d met on Facebook. He’d been posing as a teenager. So now Facebook has agreed to this new panic button for young British Facebook users. If they’re worried about cyber-bullying or that they’re being stalked, they can click on a link to a British law enforcement agency and report their suspicions.

Radke: And is the same change coming to Facebook’s American site?

Beard: Well, one analyst I was talking to this morning said he thinks it will, that eventually Facebook will install a direct reporting link to the U.S.’s national center for missing and exploited children. But there are many skeptics out there who say actually the best way to curb this kind of abuse, bullying and stalking and so on is for Facebook itself to become a lot more vigilant about the people it allows onto its site.

Radke: Stephen Beard in London. Thank you.

Beard: OK, Bill.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.