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UK Gov't Wants Facebook To Feature Child Safety Button 237

Posted by timothy
from the extreme-unction dept.
judgecorp writes "Harriet Harman, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, has said that UK government ministers are 'taking action' to get Facebook to add a British child protection button (called CEOP) to its site. The move comes after the UK's Daily Mail withdrew allegations that teenagers on Facebook are continually pestered — though Facebook is still considering suing the paper. The campaign apparently ignores Facebook's assertion that it already has better child protection in place and the CEOP button would be limited to the UK."
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UK Gov't Wants Facebook To Feature Child Safety Button

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  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:48AM (#31450052)
    Since its Harriet Harman involved I expect that the pressing of the button will result in the immediate rounding up of all males over 12 involved in the conversation for incarceration without trial. And it obviously won't matter what was said, because it will be the "emotion affect" on the kid pressing the button that counts, not the actual words.
  • Muhehehe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:50AM (#31450068)
    We already have bad experience [radio.cz] with child protection buttons, and I seriously doubt that this one will do more good than harm. What's happened to good old parenting?
  • by maroberts (15852) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:50AM (#31450074) Homepage Journal

    I think the button should be connected to a device to administer a large voltage to Harriet Harperson whenever pressed. The take up would be enormous.

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:51AM (#31450078)

    ...that got done by the police for driving without due care and attention [timesonline.co.uk]?

    So presumably Facebook is a danger to kids whilst her talking on a mobile phone while driving is safe for kids who could be out in the street at the time?

  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:52AM (#31450084)
    Allowing Children on the internet to quickly and easily label anyone they like a child abuser. What could possibly go wrong?

    It gets better though, if you are ever accused of child abuse, it goes on record and will be returned whenever an employer does a background check. Doesn't matter if the allegations are complete rubbish and everyone acknowledges this. It'll still haunt you for life.

    To top it all off, there's a condition that the government can put on your record making the information on your background check confidential to anyone. Including yourself. You can fail a background check and never you have failed one. The employer can't tell you you've failed, so if there's a mistake on your background check, it is impossible to get it remedied and your life is basically ruined.
  • by maroberts (15852) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:52AM (#31450088) Homepage Journal

    Well we know from Parliamentary expenses that she and her hubby have rented enough porn to learn good technique

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Manip (656104) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:53AM (#31450090)

    Frankly this isn't a shock given our current government's tracks record.
      - Licence to take kids to football practice
      - Licence to own a dog (and third party liability insurance)
      - CCTV Cameras on every street corner
      - An "equality opportunity" amendment which promotes racist and sexist hiring (what the hell?)
      - Virtual strip search at every airport
      - ID Cards
      - et al

    Being extremely liberal is great. But some days I wish the UK had a little more of the things American conservatives love (e.g. Personal Freedom, less interference).

  • by Manip (656104) on Friday March 12, 2010 @06:58AM (#31450116)

    Agreed.
    It is shocking how sexist she is and how much she gets away with "because she was a women." Heck she was even short listed for her position BECAUSE she was a women.

    Ultimately we differ in opinion because she believes the means justify the ends (e.g. positively biased for women will counterbalance history and everyone will be equal), where I believe we promote *equality* and the problem will fix its self in time.

    She for example introduced a bill that mandated they employ women over men if both are equally qualified. They also placed no limits on how far this should go or when it should end. This bill directly impacts jobs that are already dominated by women so they cannot employ men.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:01AM (#31450132)
    well, step one is abolish the crown. Step two is abolish everything done in the name of "her royal highness," "her majesty," or "the crown." I'd say step 3 would be to auction off the crown jewels to pay off the national debt, but aren't they actually made of aluminum or something? That's not as precious a metal as it used to be...
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:01AM (#31450136) Journal

    You could argue that the UK government is just trying to interfere in how a private non-uk business runs its site, but then again, if you leave it to private industry, actors claiming to be doctors would be telling you that smoking is healthy. Private industry does have a reputation for ignoring the welfare of its customers for the sake of profits.

    Just as car makers prefered killing a few customers over the message that cars could be dangerous by installing seatbelts, facebook hardly wants to carry the message that social networking is not all fun and games to strongly.

    From what I know of the warning button, it is just a link to a site where you can get advice about how to stay safe. So fairly similar to a "smoking can kill you" sticker. The truly stupid won't read it, but who knows, it might work and what is the harm?

    Yeah, yeah, parents should tell their kids. Except a lot of parents don't have a clue about what their kids are up to. They did not grow up with the internet, don't know the capabilities. Kids are incredibly stupid if you let them, but then kids are also famous for not reading warnings anyway.

    But why is facebook so opposed to it? Does it have a serious complaint, or is it seatbelts all over again? Yeah the summary says that facebook claims their own warnings are good enough. Right... and why should we take their word for it? They would hardly say "we don't want the button and our own systems suck because we don't give a shit". They got a reason not to want the button, and I need a little bit more then obvious marketing speech to see why. Because I can see a very simple reason why they really don't want it. It might scare people of using their service.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:02AM (#31450140)

    Being extremely liberal is great

    Somebody has kidnapped the word "liberal" here. I thought the word had something to do with freedom, which seems to be absent in the list above.

  • by gencha (1020671) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:04AM (#31450154)
    There already is such a button on every computer. It's more widely known as the power button.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:04AM (#31450156)

    Not that I am a particular fan of the woman myself, but that kind of tenuous link between facts sounds like something I would expect the Daily Mail to come out with.

    Come on people, some more valid criticisms? How about the fact that she is trying to force a private company to shoehorn an unproven 'solution' to a problem that should be resolved through better parenting.

  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:09AM (#31450194)
    print a photo of her laughing with the headline:
    "Harman laughs whilst children in Africa are dying!"

    That's about the level of our tabloids.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:17AM (#31450238)

    If you're a British politician, you automatically go on "Arsebook".

    If you're a parent without parental responsibility, your "Facebook" account gets transferred to "Arsebook".

    And if you've queued up at midnight for a computer game or an iPhone, you go into the "Arsebook" "What A Total Arse" section.

    That'll soon learn them...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:24AM (#31450274)

    Similar to how anti-semitism is defined as being against the policies of the current Israeli government (by them anyway)?

  • by FreeUser (11483) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:32AM (#31450316)

    Remember that sexism, by definition, can only be against women and that it's impossible for women to be sexist against men. Once you understand the standard feminist definition of sexism, things should make a lot more sense, whether you agree with it or not.

    OK, some dipship female supremecist who calls herself a feminist makes a boneheaded definition for sexism on her blog, and you paint all feminists with that brush?

    Femenism simply means the belief that all people are equal irrespective of gender. Some femenists are angrier or more shrill than others, but the fundamental definition of femenism remains, to wit

    feminism /fmnzm/ Show Spelled[fem-uh-niz-uhm] - noun
    1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
    2. (sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
    3. feminine character.

    The problem is that a whole lot of angry men (and eager-to-please women) jumped on a reactionary "not in these-here parts" bandwagen and have deliberately misused the term to mean something it isn't. It makes me wonder if the blogger you linked to isn't really a right-wing troll / agent provocatuer. Certainly her definition of sexism isn't consistent wtih the definition of feminism. Clearly men and women are equal, and equally clearly, sexism goes both ways. It is simply an unfortunate symptom of history, not to mention a whole lot of mysognist cultures (e.g. much of the middle-east, though by no means limited only to that region) and institutions (e.g. the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, Penthouse Magazine, and the list goes on), that the most common experience by far is male sexism against women.

    Harriot Harmon is a prime example of the opposite, and her methods should clearly not be supported, but that's no excuse to go labelling feminists as female supremecists, or pointing to some random blog by someone who doesn't even know the meaning of the word as an "authority" on how feminists would define "sexism" or any other term.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:39AM (#31450364)
    Abolishing the Lords would have been around step 4 or 5, I think.
  • by malkavian (9512) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:47AM (#31450414) Homepage

    I doubts it's a "right wing troll". Over here in 'sunny' Bristol, UK, there was a great little scandal a while ago, where a black city councilor accused an Asian councilor of being a "coconut" (brown on the outside, white on the inside) as the Asian councilor supported a bill that wasn't stacked towards Asians (though in a pragmatic sense, was geared towards the general wellbeing long term of the city for all people).
    The big defense of this black councilor was that "she couldn't be racist, because she was black". That was an actual, on the record quote.
    After having had many witch hunts for racism in the council, this rather more blatant (and on the public record; the "coconut" comment was made in session and thus recorded) event was rapidly swept under the carpet, and the decision of the disciplinary board was that "no action should be taken".

  • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Friday March 12, 2010 @07:47AM (#31450416) Homepage

    Did she come to conscious decision that she would drive without due care and attention?

    Yes, she did. She deliberately chose to talk on her phone while attempting to drive, meaning that she was not fully in control of her car.

    Or are you suggesting she somehow accidentally answered the phone, or accidentally drove the car?

  • by malkavian (9512) on Friday March 12, 2010 @08:00AM (#31450506) Homepage

    CRB checks are done by most employers, volunteers and a whole host of other agencies that want a criminal records check. This is the 'valid' method which is quite sane in most respects, and yes, you get a copy of your CRB check.
    The post was about the "Vetting and barring database" which you'll have to register on if you have formal contact with children more than a couple of times a week. This involves schools, hospitals, taking kids to school if you do the school run, retail outlets (you do serve children under 16 if they appear in your store, don't you?), and in fact, a huge amount of places.
    There is no disclosure to the applicant about anything that may appear on this, and 'soft intelligenct' (i.e. hearsay) is admissible as evidence in this database. It is sufficient to bar you from a job.

  • Needs a "select all" button.
  • by ICLKennyG (899257) on Friday March 12, 2010 @08:26AM (#31450720)
    The most dangerous phrase ever uttered by society "There ought to be a law..." and I'm a lawyer. This shit is just out of hand.

    It's a good thing George Carlin is dead, cause this would kill him. I just keep replaying his stand up bit in my head.

    Daintywoman: Think of the children! Think of the children! Think of th...
    George: Fuck the Children! (And this is Mr. Conductor Talking)
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Friday March 12, 2010 @08:35AM (#31450800) Homepage Journal

    You basically only have to walk down the street with your ears open.

    Back when I were a lad, it was routine to insult kids who were not of your group, fatty, lanky, ginger, smelly, stinky, etc.

    Today the default insult is "paedo"

    I've lost count of the number of times I have seen teenagers and younger, of both sexes, respond to an adult who tells them off for something, eg "stop fucking around with my car" with chants of "paedo!"

    Teachers in UK schools essentially live in fear of one of the kids responding to being told off for setting fire to little johnny in 2A with an accusation of violence or sexual assault being made against the teacher.

    You won't find a small kid who does not already;

    a/ own a mobile phone
    b/ know the childline and other abuse numbers by heart

    We are sowing what we reaped.

    I say in all sincerity, there are a LOT of adults today who have learned this lesson so well that they could witness either an adult women or a schoolgirl being gang raped, and simply walk on by, deliberately seeing nothing, as being the only safe option.

    http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

  • As one of those rare female posters here on slashdot, thank you for this post. People on one of the feminist geek sites I go to (www.girl-wonder.org) like to point out that people are different even when they claim a particular group name. People disagree. We see this all the time with people on the fringes of political parties and religion, so why not feminism?
  • by FreeUser (11483) on Friday March 12, 2010 @09:23AM (#31451246)

    Sorry, but she's no dipshit female supremicist. A female supremicist would be someone like m Andrea, or Mary Daly, or... (though it's worth noting that most of those are reasonably widely tolerated and defended even within the mainstream of feminism). This is a normal, common feminist definition from a mainstream site - in fact, a site that people on a lot of other feminist website use. It's founded and run by tigtog, of Hoyden About Town, who's about as far from an extremist as you can get.

    Sorry, but her definition of sexism as something only men can do to women clearly disqualifies her as a feminist, as it has inherent in it the assumption that men and women are NOT to be treated as equal. If men and women are equal, than women are as capable of being sexist as men (which, in fact, they are, as Harriot Harmon amply demonstrates). Sexism, racism, and every other *ism is a two way street: either party is capable of dishing out hatred and bigotry toward the other, and there is almost always a fringe in every group that does exactly that.

    She may or may not be an extremest, but she is certainly NOT a feminist, as made obvious by her fundamental belief that men and women are NOT equal. An activist, maybe, but by the very definition of the word she is not a feminist, no matter what she chooses to call herself.

  • Re:hmmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by natehoy (1608657) on Friday March 12, 2010 @10:45AM (#31452232) Journal

    I find your post offensive and have clicked on the CEOP button Slashdot has installed. Prepare for a visit!

    Seriously, what good would this button do in preventing anything? If the child is duped into meeting up with Chester Molester, then they aren't going to press the button. If the child is suspicious, they are going to either use the existing "report as offensive" button which already exists, or they are going to yell for Mom or Dad who will call CEOP on the telephone so they can respond in time to maybe send an armed response team to meet up with Chester and make sure he goes to jail where he'll get all the sexual attention he needs from the hardened inmates. Nothin' Bubba likes better than being the first to soften up a child molester.

    Something like this just invites abuses of the system, and/or lacks the immediate response times needed to actually catch the actual dangerous pedophiles and make sure they go away for a long time. It's actually going to discourage useful reports (those that happen quickly enough to prevent issues) and encourage abuses of the reporting system. Like those two girls last year who reported they were stuck in a storm drain system over Facebook rather than calling the local police for help.

    It doesn't hurt that this was all based on a made-up article that initially created false claims about a social network that was NOT Facebook, then some asshat editor changed the name of the social network to Facebook. I'd be far more worried about someone getting targeted on a more random site like Slashdot's private messaging system, where fewer people are looking and private messages are private.

  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Friday March 12, 2010 @12:17PM (#31453352) Homepage Journal

    as in, we have already reaped the "rewards" of sowing the seeds of this sort of dissension in the past, so, what do we do?

    We sow more seeds of dissension.

    We reaped diseased crops, and instead of discarding the seed we simply plant it back in the ground.

    Hence "sowing what we reaped"

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