Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Among Us game watched by 400,000

  • A live stream of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playing the popular game Among Us has become one of the most-watched videos on Twitch
  • More than 400,000 viewers made it the third-highest peak on record for the game-streaming platform, as she urged them to get out the vote” ahead of the US election on 3 November
  • Louise Shorthouse, games industry analyst at Omdia said “I do think it’s a very smart way to raise voting awareness pre-election, especially amongst the notoriously hard-to-reach Gen Z – ie those born from 1997 to 2012
  • Among Us is a hugely popular online murder mystery game, which involves players trying to fix a broken spaceship, but among them is an impostor, tasked with sabotage and murder of the other cartoon characters

Snapchat hits nearly 250m daily users

  • Snapchat has announced that user numbers surged during the pandemic to 249 million people using the app daily, beating all expectations
  • That was a jump of 18% year-on-year, and Snapchat says it is now used by three-quarters of 13 to 34-year-olds in the United States
  • Its revenue is also up by 52% in the same period, to $679m (£520m)
  • A contentious redesign in 2018 had prompted fears for the app’s future, but parent company Snap says the boom in augmented reality, along with its more unusual offerings such as premium shows and sports content, have brought in advertisers. It saw shares jump by 23% after the news
  • “It’s kind of the forgotten social network, in some respects – unless you’re in that demographic that is so aggressively using it,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight

One in Four Britons Believe in QAnon-linked Theories finds Survey

  • One in four people in Britain agree with conspiracies propagated by QAnon, the global movement claiming there is a secret satanic network of child-abusing politicians and celebrities, a survey has found
  • The research for Hope Not Hate also found that 17% of people questioned said they believed Covid-19 was intentionally released as part of a “depopulation plan” by the UN or “new world order”
  • It found that QAnon, which originated in the US where the FBI has designated it as a potential terror threat, is making particular inroads among young people
  • While 6% of those polled claimed to support QAnon, larger percentages supported broader, linked conspiracies
  • A quarter (25%) agreed that secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites”, and this rose to 35% among people aged 18-24
  • A similar proportion (26%) agreed that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” are secretly engaging in large-scale child trafficking and abuse

Figures lay Bare Toll of Pandemic on UK Children’s Mental Health

  • The children’s commissioner for England and leading psychiatrists have raised the alarm about young people’s mental health during the pandemic, as figures from various sources suggest a sharp rise in reports of sleep problems, eating disorders and self-harm
  • A Guardian investigation into the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on children found large increases in prescriptions for sleeping pills for under-18s rose, eating disorders, safeguarding issues and more.
  • Separate research for The Prince’s Trust found that more than a quarter of young people felt unable to cope with life amid the pandemic and almost a third had panic attacks, whilst more than one in three young people said they struggled to think clearly
  • The Censuswide survey of 2,000 UK 16- to 25-year-olds also found that almost half of those in learning worried that missing out on education would set them back for the rest of their life, with more than a third feeling their education had “gone to waste”. This proportion was significantly higher among those from poorer backgrounds
  • Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said the Guardian findings were “powerful” and “really concerning”