More Tech Platforms Make Stand against Racism and Hate Speech 

Online Harms Bill Delayed

  • The Chair of the Lords Democracy and Digital Committee has said the government’s landmark Online Protection Bill could be delayed for years.
  • Lord Puttnam said the Online Harms Bill may not come into effect until 2023 or 2024, after a government minister said she could not commit to bringing it to parliament next year.
  • The Online Harms Bill was unveiled last year amid a flurry of political action after the story of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who killed herself after viewing online images of self-harm, came to light.

Leading Children’s Charities Warn Children’s Futures are in Jeopardy

  • A group of 146 charities and organisations have written a letter to the Prime Minister warning that young people are facing “unprecedented threats” to their futures from the Covid-19 pandemic, and should be prioritised. 
  • The charities and other bodies, including Action for Children, Barnardo’s, the National Children’s Bureau, NSPCC, the Children’s Society, Unicef UK and the Child Poverty Action Group, say Covid-19 “threatens to cast its shadow” over the young for years to come. 
  • The charities say the voices of children, young people and families must be at the heart of the recovery and rebuilding process and there must be renewed investment in the services they rely on.

Facebook Launches New Measures to Tackle Fake News

  • Amid a growing advertising boycott putting pressure on Facebook to tackle misinformation and hate speech, the company is launching a campaign to help people spot fake news.
  • Steve Hatch, Facebook’s vice president for Northern Europe, says the media literacy campaign launched with fact-checkers ‘FullFact’ is evidence that the company is “listening and adapting”.
  • But some experts and critics argue the effort across the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East is “too little, too late”.
  • The campaign will direct people to the website and ask users key questions about what they see online: “Where’s it from?” “What’s missing?” and “How did you feel? Misinformation or viral fake news has been a persistent issue for years on the social network,  which flared up dramatically after the emergence of Covid-19.

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