Facebook Panic Button. Another excuse to not parent?

I’m thoroughly unconvinced by the Facebook/CEOPS “Panic button”. It seems to me once again like a technological solution to a management problem.

The flawed logic being applied is that a child is cognizant enough of their risks online to (a) install the app – no mean feat in and of itself and (b) recognise when they’re at risk.

Show me a teenager who fundamentally understands these risks and I’ll eat my hat.

The key to minimising our children’s risks online is not daft barely thought through technological solutions but education. It’s up to parents to educate themselves and to educate and monitor their children’s activity (i.e. manage) particularly on social network sites.

The solution as stands is, frankly, more dangerous than no solution as it once again bestows the illusion of safety ultimately all but guaranteeing that some parents come to believe that the problem has been dealt with and they can take a step back from managing their children’s online interactions.

As a parent I feel that a much more appropriate solution would have been to give me, the parent, vetting privileges over my child’s (who’s only 2 so not yet using facebook ;>)  friends and the ability to monitor their communications if I become concerned (or even possibly to put some smarts into the communications system to be able to alert me to something potentially dangerous going on).

Given that this is not what’s been provided, if it were me (thankfully I’m not in such a position for some years yet) I wouldn’t touch ClickCEOP with a bargepole.

I prefer to parent my child  – I’m never going to trust technology (and/or my child) to do it for me.

Joe Vaughan

Stardust dancin on the night...

UK

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