Facebook is set to introduce a new 'social reporting' feature, which will allow users to report offensive content to trusted friends, parents or teachers.

Rather than going through the virtual process of reporting abuse to Facebook alone, the network is hoping that a real-word authority figure will be able to deal with the issue more directly.

Facebook says that the new feature is intended to "promote a culture of respect on Facebook" and will demonstrate to bullies that online behaviour has real world consequences.

Inspired by the White House

These "trusted friends" don't have to be members of Facebook themselves, as the user can report the image or status to them using an external email address.

Facebook bullying feature

The social reporting system is part of Facebook's new and improved safety centre, which should help users find the information they need quickly and more easily using interactive features and videos.

Facebook's move is inspired by the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention which kicks off today, and the new features will be rolled out over the coming weeks.