The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) called on the social networking website Facebook to feature its alert button following the conviction of Peter Chapman for the murder of Ashleigh Hall. Chapman posed as a teenager on Facebook in
order to 'groom' Ashleigh, 17, before raping and murdering her.
Jim Gamble, the chief executive of CEOP, said 267 reports of suspicious activity on Facebook had been received in 2009 but users had been unable to log their concerns directly with his agency. Facebook itself had brought only a handful of cases to the
attention of the unit, which investigates online paedophile activity.
Facebook indicated that it would resist the demand to put the CEOP alert button on its site because it believed its own reporting system was adequate. Sources said that Ashleigh Hall had also made contact with her murderer via MSN chat sites, which do
carry the CEOP button, but she did not use it to alert the authorities.
A spokesman for Facebook said: The safety of Facebook users is our top priority. We have reporting buttons on every page of our site and continue to invest heavily in creating the most robust reporting system to support our 400 million users.
Update: CEOP Advert to Appear on Facebook
13th July 2010. Based on
Facebook users will be able to report suspicious online behaviour and access internet safety advice with the launch of a new application. Users of the social networking site will be able to access an advice centre from their homepage, where there will be
a dedicated facility for reporting inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The facility is the result of a initiative between Facebook and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and users will be able to add the ClickCEOP service as an application to find information about online safety.
An advert for ClickCEOP will appear on the homepage of every user aged between 13 and 18.