back to article CEOP renews attack on Facebook

The chief of the national anti-paedophile agency has launched another scathing attack on Facebook, branding its refusal to publish an official "panic button" on users' profiles as "arrogant". Jim Gamble, chief executive of CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre), publicised figures today showing more …


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  1. zenith

    Something about their name doesn't ring right...

    "Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre"

    Drop the middle bit and you've got;

    "Child Exploitation Centre"

    .... someone is benefiting from all this fear mongering...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Arrogance you say?

    "Is Facebook so arrogant that it does not matter what the collective child protection community think?" Gamble said in a briefing with reporters.

    Is Gamble so arrogant that he thinks that what his tiny knee-jerk media led QUANGO speaks for rational adults, and has some sort of sway over a company that isn't even based in this country? Why should FaceBook have to link to a page of paedo-hunter propaganda?

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were some links discovered between this Gamble person and the NewsCorp owned knee-jerk tabloid press in this country. That being the same NewsCorp that owns MySpace, the FaceBook rival that seems to not come under the same sort of 'scrutiny' from these people. Call me suspicious, but I don't trust this shadowy CEOP organisation that seems to have taken upon itself the task of censoring the internet for our own safety...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Seems like what leaving him in charge would be. He sounds increasingly like J. Edgar Hoover. That'd be typical, when another psychopath rises to the top of an anti-crime agency and instead of being increasingly concerned about him, Johnson does the cheerleading.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jim Gamble is a loon

    Jim Gamble's idiotic ravings almost make me want to show my support for Facebook by getting an account.

    Gamble said: "None [of the 252 reports received this year by CEOP] came direct from Facebook. If their system is so robust and they are receiving so many reports and concerns from young people, then where are they?"

    Is anyone, even Jim Gamble himself, so stupid that they might think that's a sensible question?

  5. Jacqui

    Porno Jim and his big red button

    He wants a direct link to his reporting systems.

    Why doesn't Facebook provide one. We all know that *lots* of people world wide start the submission process if only to see what is under the new button then some bright spark will write some code to auto submit the button and millions more will hit the site in a very short time.

    I can only assume PJ wants a DDOS attack?

    Porno Jims servers would collapse and he would be running to the press for more money for new servers and bandwidth. Then make a request for more staff to process the millions of spam reports. Then in a few years time he would retire and take a job with the pork barrel IT company used to supply said (now unused, probably non existent except on paper) servers.

    Moral: Pigs and pork barrels go together!

  6. Anigel

    Ceop is Cr*p

    Considering Ashliegh also contacted their killed on MSN which does prominently display the ceop button proves just how pointless this whole slime throwing match is

    Why force a button that is useless on millions of users who would have less than zero use for it. The only people to benefit from the inclusion of a ceop button would be ceops pitifully low self esteem.

  7. Michael

    El Reg next

    When are the register going to supply a panic button to refer people to the music and film industry for clearly being pirates!

    This is unacceptable behaviour!

    Sorry but the whole idea of the panic button is pointless. Lets be completely honest, if you don't want your kids chatting and meeting with stranger don't let them use the computer unsupervised.

    If the police want to justify the formation of incompetent groups of specialists do it based on evidence of the group being effective. Don't blame industry to distract people from your own inadequacies of lossing track of people.

    The police should stop trying to be politicians and get on with their job.

  8. Snark

    Protect us

    I've posted more serious responses to Jim Gamble's rants in previous articles on his harrassment and bullying of Facebook (CEOP being the one true way - maybe he is a frustrated (insert your disliked platform from iphone/Mac/Windows/Linux/Solaris here) fanboi)...

    So after reading this one all I can say is, please, someone , form a centre for the prevention of media exploitation by Jim Gamble organization.

  9. Number6

    Something Must Be Done!

    And putting a panic button on webpages is Something. The fact that it's generally useless is beside the point, along with a lot of stuff, some of which has made its way into legislation.

    Proper education of children by their parents would go a long way to catching this sort of thing - make the children aware of the dangers and listen sympathetically and helpfully without being over-prescriptive if they come back with questions or problems. It's about time we ditched the assumption that the state will come to our rescue every time, because such reliance just makes things worse over time and erodes freedom. Take responsibility for your own life and for raising your children properly.

  10. NB


    is a posturing, self-obsessed fuckwit. The CEOP button is just a PR stunt for him to make a name for himself.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Jim Gamble again!!!

    Jim Gamble was a self publicising idiot when he trotted out in front of the cameras when he was with the RUC.

    Unlike a good wine he has not improved with age.

    AC because they petty enough to hassle critics

  12. seanj


    Good on Facebook for standing up to this sorry, useless bunch of arseclowns. It's high time that the CEOP and the Home Office can't get everything it wants by contantly yelling "Do as we say or you love paedophiles".

    I'm so sick to death of this "won't somebody think of the children", bully-boy approach to stifling debate and getting your own way. Alan Johnson and that stupid cockfag non-entity in charge of CEOP ought to simply Fuck Off And Die - if you want to blame anyone for Ashleigh Hall's death, take a good close look at your own departmental failings that allowed Chapman to slip your net and stop trying to blame Facebook. Cunts.

    Arrgh, the rage!!!!

    1. ElFatbob

      hehe, thanks

      'stupid c**kfag non-entity'. Thankyou sir, duly added to my list of memorables.

      Time to SHUT this quango down, along with about 99% of the other 1200 or so sponging stupid c**kfag non-entities.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      A truly outstanding piece of ranting, worthy of some kind of award - or at least it's very own panic button

  13. Stone Fox

    this argument is getting old.

    While admittedly someone should "think of the children" (and yes I winced to use that phrase seriously) this does seem to be a case of a somewhat inefective organisation trying to impose an equally inefective button on an organisation that already has well developed paths for dealing with this in an effort to justify their existence.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So hang on...

    What was the age of consent again in the UK?

    And how is it Facebook's fault that a 17yo was murdered by a "convicted sex offender [...] the police had lost track of"?

  15. Not Fred31
    Thumb Up

    200 odd?

    When you think about the number of kids on Facebook, the number is amazingly low - what does that work out at as a percentage?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook... an American company based in America so why should they listen to some nobody in the UK?

    1. Freakyfeet

      Facebook are a UK company as well as US

      Facebook have had a UK office for the past 3 years.

  17. Jelliphiish


    like the Gov keep giving this guy more and more rope.. he'll hang himself by his own petard shortly and then we can all snigger and point..

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why aren't they just going after the browsers?

    Stick the button on those and it's everywhere. If they think facebook is the epitome of evil, they haven't turned off safe-search yet.

    1. Pablo
      Thumb Up

      Re: Browsers

      You know, I think I've hit about the perfect solution. Let CEOP publish the panic button as a browser toolbar. That way people can see it need to EVERY web page, if for some bizarre reason they want to.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Desperately seeking...

    I am a poor, helpless Chief Exec for a quango. If I get more money and publicity for my organisation, I will get a larger bonus. Please note I am not a banker so I am allowed a large bonus in addition to my large salary, pension and other perks.

    If you are a global media organisation that runs a social networking website and would like me to provide publicity for you while trashing the competition, please contact me immediately.

    And remember our motto - let us think of the children so that you don't have to think at all....

  20. Paw Bokenfohr
    Thumb Up

    it sounds to me... it's CEOP and Gamble who are the bullies. Bullying Facebook that is. And we all know what you should do with bullies - stand up to them and they will leave you alone. For once, I actually find myself on Facebook's side...

  21. Mage Silver badge

    Douglas Adams




    There. Fixed.

  22. Graham Marsden

    Same old Same Old...

    ... from Gamble who wants to expand his ego-trip online empire a bit more and is resorting to ridiculous "if you don't agree with me you agree with paedos and rapists and murderers oh my!" accusations to try to get his way.

    Epic Fail.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I notice that Jim is off to the face book offices in Washington, I suppose he will be going on a very expensive trip on an expensive seat to an expensive hotel to visit the USA offices, if face book has UK offices, couldn't he just take the tube to see them.

    Or is a nice trip to Washington a better thing.

    I hope they tell him which way is up.

    Paris cos she has a well used one of what he is.

  24. bob 8

    New facebook group

    This a group has been setup to press the panic button over and over again, if one should appear.

    Along the lines of the If I had a hammer song.

  25. Anonymous Coward


    "Is Facebook so arrogant that it does not matter what the collective child protection community think?"

    I really wish more people were quite that arrogant.

    Thanks to all their stupid and ill thaught out whining, We've had to turn one of our volunteers into someone who does 5 hours a week paperwork, for no reason as we've all got to be ECrb checked anyway.

    Its not even as if their stupid button would have made any sodding difference in this case either.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proof Advertising still works

    CEOP fight gets public press...gets more complants than year previous, when they lacked such a public profile.

    Not an issue of more abuse, just CEOP being better known, and thereby justifying its existance and bigger budget.

    CEOP in order to be able to do anything other than uselessly wring its hands and scream "think of the children," would need some degree of superaccess to Facebook. Either to monitor problems, or to resolve them they'll need to be either able to punch through FBs robust (I jest) privacy settings, or have some kind of administrative (as in moderator) access. Give external access to government/quasi government entities to effect changes or draw data from their database. That's a non-starter argument for most private digital companies, although we're seeing some high profile deviations from that norm.

  27. Josh 15

    The Bandwagon Rolls On And On...

    I think it's true that Reverend Jim's vitriolic outbursts get funnier every time he steps up to the mic. He's been rehashing his trite, tabloid soundbites for so long he's probably unaware he's now slipped into self-parody. I suppose that's one of the luxuries of running one of the UK's most feared, powerful and untouchable arms of the Police Service: self-delusion becomes just another way of life for these unfortunates, so used to having their egos stroked, their every demands met, that they just lose touch with any last semblance of common sense.

    CEOP is a hopelessly out of control monstrosity, wreaking havoc on the UK's legal system and civil rights at every opportunity, urged on by self-interested child salvationists and ineffectual politicians. I can't see anyone prepared to hold them to account, to get them to back up their myriad claims with any sort of proof. Meanwhile, the UK taxpayer coughs up in excess of £5million a year (and rising) to sail Jim's ship, whilst craven corporations, keen to jump onto the 'me tooism' of the child protection bandwagon also pour in the largess to fill Jim's coffers.

    Chasing phantoms, that's all. Imagined dangers and fabled monsters. It's a total disgrace to all notions of common sense and decency that such a powerful organisation has been - and continues to be - indulged by politicians in such a cowardly and uncritical way.

  28. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "does not matter what the collective child protection community think?"

    That is of course the !collective child protection community" of CEOP in the UK and er, well, who else exactly?

    From Dunblaine onward there have been repeated failures of *multiple* organisations to *really* protect children.

    OTOH each occasion has resulted in more laws, more IT systems and more expensive Quangos to administer them. A great victory for the PR departments of these organisations.

    However the number of children who are on council's at risk registers and die remains around 7-10 a week

    Real children. Real dead. Lowering that average would be a *real* improvement in the UK record on looking after children.

    I did not know they had been complaining about Facebook, but not News Corp's subsidiary. as neither is based in the UK and subject to this area of UK law it's curious one gets covered, the other does not.

    Regarding numbers I'd say less than 300 on a global population of what, 10s of millions is virtually background noise.

    There are real threats to having an internet presence, as there are to living in the real world. It was designed to be used by adults. Growing up is the *process* of learning to live in those worlds.

  29. alex dekker 1


    But seriously, funny you should mention MySpace. The only reason this tit is getting media coverage is because the Murdoch press are so keen to associate Facebook with paedophilia. If you've had the misfortune to read any of his rags, you'll find frequent articles linking the two, even going so far as to use a large Facebook logo in place of the word Facebook in headlines, to really ram the point home.

  30. Svantevid


    "Do they want to be the website of choice for bullies, for dangerous individuals, for rapists and murderers?"

    See, El Reg? THAT is advertisement.

    The best you could do was being called a "lesbian on-line magazine".

  31. dct

    start my own campaign

    I think I'll start my own campaign to make it a legal requirement that every website provides a "panic button" to link them to MY website. I'll make a fortune on ads.

    In fact why not make EVERY website link to every other one just in case...

  32. Bryan W


    I guess now its the Internet's turn to be made "soft and fuzzy" by the hyper-sensitive, so it can raise our kids. Sorry TV, you're yesterday's nanny, but first we got to censor the Internet sufficientlly...

  33. pAnoNymous

    CEOP == Self Promotion

    CEOP seem to be a quango desperate to extend their reach and justify their existence by plastering themselves all over the internet. well I'm not a kid and don't have any kids so don't want or need a big red big brother button all over the place.

    why just Facebook? if there's a real danger (above say going to the park or your mom's new boyfriend) why not have this on IRC/MSN/Gmail/etc/etc - but instead they choose to have a go a facebook because it's high profile and as a result they get to raise their profile. how many had heard of this agency before this (not that many people know who they are now)?

    why not actually fix social services across the country and then you might actually do some good - but hey I guess doing a few press releases and getting yourself in the papers is more fun.

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