Facebook to offer panic button for UK teens

British teenagers will soon have the option to report abuse on Facebook using a panic button, similar to the one found on rival social networking site Bebo.

Facebook was initially hesitant to add the panic button to users' homepages, but has bowed to pressure from the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) as well as a petition signed by 44 police officers. Both Facebook and Ceop will receive the alerts when a panic button is pushed.

The social network giant was under huge pressure to give in to Ceop's demands following the tragic case of 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall, who was raped and murdered by a 33-year-old convicted sex offender who pretended to be a teenage boy on the site.

Jim Gamble, Ceop's CEO, said:

"Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCeop button is well documented - today however is a good day for child protection".

"By adding this application, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCeop button which should provide reassurance to every parent with teenagers on the site".

If you are concerned with your online safety, or that of your family then you should check out Ceop's website which provides practical guidance.