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Updated: March 14, 2011 15:37 IST

Facebook unveils option to let friend know of online bullying

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Facebook has said it will add more multimedia material to make the site safer and easier to use.
AP
Facebook has said it will add more multimedia material to make the site safer and easier to use.

Facebook users can now tell a “trusted friend” if they feel they are being bullied or harassed online, thanks to a new option introduced by the popular social networking site.

Facebook has said that its reporting option allows members to alert someone in their support system, like parents or teachers, to the problem so that online behaviour is linked to “real world consequences”.

“Often the best way of sorting offensive content is for friends to flag those things to each other. In the real world you have a sense of when you need to escalate something to the right organisation.

“If someone is calling you names, it might not be appropriate to go directly to the police,” the Daily Mail quoted Facebook’s Director of European Policy Richard Allan as saying.

However, the social networking site said users would be put in contact with police or suitable organisations in the event of more serious concerns.

Screenshots of the new safety options reveal that users could, for example, select a tick box that says a new photo is “harassing or bullying me”.

The user can choose to block the person who posted the offending material but can also “Get help from a trusted friend”, with the option to send a message to a friend or person of responsibility.

The website also confirmed it was simplifying the language of its safety centre and adding more multimedia material to make the site safer and easier to use.

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