Snapchat Announces Redesign

  • The popular app Snapchat announced that it is redesigning its platform in an attempt to simplify navigation. There will be a new action bar at the bottom which will replace Snapchat’s iconic screen swipe. No UK release dates are as yet available. 
  • The new action bar will provide access to Snap Map and Snap Originals. 
  • Snapmap will also enable users to tap on local businesses to view the address, hours of operation and reviews from TripAdvisor. Unsurprisingly, local businesses will be able to buy ads on Snap Map to highlight their bar, restaurant or business.
  • A new banner called “Happening Now” is also being rolled out to users in the U.S. with stories covering politics, entertainment, sports and more.

Free Facial Recognition Software Could be Used to Stalk People

  • A free facial recognition tool that allows people to find pictures of themselves or others from the internet has been criticised by privacy campaigners.
  • The website called PimEyes, allows people to upload any picture for free and it will then find matching images from around the web, drawing on publicly accessible sites such as Tumblr, news outlets and blogs.
  • Big Brother Watch said it could “enable state surveillance, commercial monitoring and even facilitate stalking on a scale previously unimaginable”.
  • In response, PimEyes said: “Our privacy policy prevents people from using our tool for this case. Every tool could be used in the wrong way.”

Twitter Removes 170,000 Pro-China Accounts

  • Twitter has removed more than 170,000 accounts it says were tied to an operation to spread pro-China messages.
  • A Twitter company blog said the accounts where “tweeting predominantly in Chinese languages and spreading geopolitical narratives favourable to the Communist Party of China (CCP) while continuing to push deceptive narratives about the political dynamics in Hong Kong”.
  • The company said “a core network” of 23,750 highly active accounts had been deleted, along with another 150,000 “amplifier accounts”.
  • Twitter also revealed it has shut down more than a thousand Russia-based misinformation accounts.

 MPs vote Against Scrapping Controversial Child Care Duties 

  • MPs have voted against scrapping contentious changes to legislation governing councils’ responsibilities to children in care.
  • A motion, led by the shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, to annul a statutory instrument relaxing a range of duties safeguarding children and young people was defeated on 10 June by 260 votes to 123.
  • The amendments to regulations, justified by the government as providing important flexibility during the coronavirus crisis, were introduced in late April and enacted without sitting before Parliament for the customary 21 days.
  • Opponents include the Children’s Commissioner for England, Labour, significant numbers of children’s charities and the British Association of Social Workers England. They argue the changes are unnecessary and may do harm to children, while some organisations claim they could pave the way for permanent weakening of children’s rights.

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