Criminals and Peadophiles are Targetting Children Worldwide During Lockdown

  • Reports of obscene online material more than doubled globally to more than four million between March and April.
  • In the UK there were nearly nine million attempts to access child sexual abuse websites in the last month. 
  • Spanish National Police say reports of online child sex videos leapt by just over 20% since just before the lockdown there began on 13 March.
  • Their counterparts in Denmark revealed the number of attempts to access child abuse websites has trebled.

10,000 Grooming Offences on Social Media

  • In the last two and a half years, Police in England and Wales have recorded over 10,000 grooming offences on social media. 
  • 55% of the recorded offences took place on Facebook owned Apps (incl. Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp).
  • The figures come from freedom of information requests lodged by the NSPCC who are now calling for stronger protections for children as the rate of offences soars.

Police Warn of Post Lockdown Gang Violence

  •  A senior police official has warned of a significant rise in gang violence when lockdown is lifted. 
  • John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales said social media sites “have been a breeding ground” for gangs to taunt each other
  • The Metropolitan Police has created new “violence suppression units” to deal with the predicted surge.

Trump Administration Sign Executive Order Targeting Social Media Companies 

  • The US President has signed an executive order aimed at removing some of the legal protections given to social media platforms in the US after Twitter added fact checking warnings to two of his tweets. 
  • The order is expected to face legal challenges which gives regulators the power to pursue legal actions against firms such as Facebook and Twitter for the way they police content on their platforms.
  • Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter said “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally”.
  • Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook said that the company should step away from regulating online speech stating “I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online”.

Zoom Users Must Update to Latest Version 

  • Users of Zoom must update by the 30th of May to continue using the platform.
  • The new version called Zoom 5.0 includes improved encryption and features such as a security icon that makes it easier to manage the app, lock meetings or remove participants. Users can also report a user if someone turns up uninvited to a meeting.
  • For more information on staying safe while using Zoom, check out our ABC’s of Video Conferencing.

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