The ISPCC has welcomed the launch today by Facebook of a new tracking tool, to combat sharing of so-called ‘revenge porn’ on social networks.

It has been reported that the new tool will stop Facebook users from uploading or sharing an image that has already been reported and removed by moderators, in an attempt to stop the images being uploaded further and going “viral”.

ISPCC Chief Executive Grainia Long said: “This development by Facebook is welcome. The sharing of images that have been reported and removed should not be permitted, and we hope to see other companies take up this initiative. It is important that all providers of social media platforms play their part in ensuring children are protected online.”

The ISPCC has previously called for the following safety procedures in relation to children to be addressed:

– The development of a National Cyber Safety Strategy for children
– The establishment of a Digital Safety Commissioner, as recommended by the Law Reform Commission
– Regulatory powers to promote online and digital safety and to provide oversight of “take-down procedures” operated by online service providers such as social media sites
– Implement Key Education Measures regarding online behaviour
– Reform of Law and Policy regarding Children’s Cyber Safety

Ms Long continued: “We still have quite a bit of work to do to ensure that children are adequately protected online.

“While technology and social media bring many benefits, our work with children and young people has convinced us that as a society we are failing to prepare children to identify risks online, to cope when harm takes place and to empower children and young people to stay safe online. Children and young people need education on consent, along with quality cyber safety education to empower them to recognise and report concerns regarding potential online predators.

“The issues are many and complex; however, we can find solutions to these challenges. Cyber safety is the child protection issue of our time – a comprehensive cyber safety strategy for children is vital, to bring together the different areas of law reform, education, regulation and awareness that are necessary to allow us to protect our children.

“We must do more to ensure children are better protected online. Government, state agencies, NGOs, industry and parents must work together in a coordinated effort to enhance legislation, policy and education.”