The FA is urging users of its England and FA Cup Facebook pages to add a new application to make them safer online.
The UK’s national law enforcement agency dedicated to child protection – the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre - and Facebook, the biggest social networking site, have joined forces to develop the initiative.
For the first time, it will give all Facebook users in the UK – and especially those aged between 13-18 years – direct access to CEOP’s advice and reporting centre – ClickCEOP – giving them the very latest help on online safety as well as a dedicated facility for reporting instances of suspected grooming or inappropriate sexual behaviour .
The access will be provided via an ‘app’ that users can add or bookmark so it appears on their profile, as not only a constant source of help and reassurance for them but also as a strong visual signal to their friends, family and others that they are in control online.
The app, which is available via all four of The FA’s Facebook pages, will be backed by a new CEOP profile – ClickCEOP - that will look to engage with young people to help raise the profile of online safety. The move is also being supported by an advertising campaign on Facebook that will encourage take up. This will include an automatic advert appearing on every profile of users aged between 13-18 years inviting them to add the app.
As well as adding the ClickCEOP app, there are a number of ways in which young people can stay safe when using Facebook:
- Make sure privacy settings are set to private so the only people who can see your page and information are your friends
- Some people lie about who they are online so only add friends who you know in the real world
- Block or delete people who upset you or send nasty messages
- Tell a trusted adult if you have a concern about something that has happened to you online
Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre said: “Today represents a huge step forward. By adding this app, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCEOP button and this should provide reassurance for the many parents whose teenage children use Facebook.
“We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online. We urge all Facebook users not only to add the app, but also to bookmark it so that others can see that they’re in control online. Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCEOP button is well documented – this is a good day for child protection.”
CEOP’s new Facebook page will contain polls, news alerts and status updates. The page will look at topics that teenagers care about, such as celebrities, music and exams and will link these subjects to questions about online safety. The CEOP page will also give users the option to add the new ClickCEOP application.