Social networking sites may be fitted with panic buttons

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  • Talks to install panic buttons on social networking sites could spell the end of obscene material online.

    As the popularity of social networking sites continues to rise, discussions have begun on whether greater safety measures should be in place to prevent public exposure to obscene and inappropriate material.

    Proposals for a panic button system are being considered by 140 firms and some other groups after being drawn up by the government’s advisor on online safety, Tanya Byron.

    A similar system has already been announced by networking site Bebo and involves a prominently displayed means for online users – particularly children – to report offensive material.

    According to research by industry regulator Ofcom, about 35 per cent of children are able to access the internet in their bedrooms without parental supervision.

    Further improvements to internet standards should also give parents greater control over children’s use of the internet, enabling them to prevent access to pages with offensive content.

    In addition to this, a ‘safe search’ service will be offered by sites to stop children from accessing unsuitable sites.



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