Bebo website boosts safety for childrenMeasures announced to tackle cyber bullying

15 September 2006

Child at a computer

Social networking site Bebo has beefed up its safety measures to help youngsters stay clear of 'cyber bullies'.

The move comes a day after a Computing Which? investigation found numerous examples of bullying on both Bebo and MySpace, the two most popular social networking sites for young people.

Bullying online is often characterised by individuals putting negative or derogatory comments on other people’s web pages.

But Bebo has now made it possible for children using the site to pre-screen comments and images that others attempt to post to their Bebo homepage. They can also block people from contacting them.

Anti-bullying tool

To activate the anti-bullying tool users need to click on ‘My Account’ at the top of their Bebo homepage and select ‘Review homepage comments and white boards’. The block function can be found underneath the profile image on each homepage.

Anyone who wants to delete existing comments on their pages needs to click on the ‘Comments’ tab and select those they wish to remove.  They can a link to report abuse to Bebo’s customer care team.

Bebo’s Head of Corporate & Social Responsibility, Dr Rachel O’Connell: ‘This comprehensive suite of anti-bullying tools will continue to be augmented and forms part of Bebo’s wider ongoing safety and security strategy.

‘We are pleased to announce this latest raft of safety features, which will further empower our users and help to make Bebo a safer online environment.’

Proper precautions

Computing Which? Senior Researcher Kim Gilmour said: 'We welcome the measures Bebo has taken to try and keep teenagers safe online. Social networking is a great way for teenagers to keep in touch with their friends, discover new interests and express their creativity.

‘But without the right advice and proper precautions, there can be dangerous consequences.'