Parler ‘free speech’ app tops charts in wake of Trump defeat

  • Twitter rival ‘Parler’ has become the most-downloaded app in the United States as conservatives flock to the self-styled “free speech” app after the US election
  • It follows a clampdown on the spread of election misinformation by Twitter and Facebook in recent days
  • Owner Dan Bongino said the service was adding “thousands to users per minute” on Sunday
  • But the sudden boom also caused technical issues for users
  • Some reported problems registering and a slowdown of the app as its servers attempted to deal with the influx
  • Parler founder John Matze said the app had added two million new users in a day, and increased its daily active users four-fold over the weekend
  • “Don’t worry, the app isn’t normally this slow,” he promised new arrivals

Online arguments between pupils spilling into classrooms

  • Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman has said that online squabbles that happened while schools were closed are now being played out in classrooms this term
  • In a new report into how schools are supporting pupils to return to full-time education, the inspectorate said that fall-outs over social media during the first national lockdown are continuing in person now that pupils are back in school
  • Ofsted has also found that, while many school leaders say that behaviour has improved, others warn that pupils’ willingness to follow rules has deteriorated compared with when they first returned to school in September
  • Ofsted warns that ‘boys in particular’ spent much of the national lockdown gaming online and links the use of social media to pupil behaviour and anxiety
  • The report also found that many younger children have forgotten how to use a knife and fork or have regressed back to nappies and that older children have lost their “stamina” for reading, say inspectors

Terms and Conditions for popular apps longer than harry potter

      • The combined terms and conditions of 13 top apps including TikTok, WhatsApp and Zoom would take 17 hours and five minutes to read, a firm has estimated
      • The documents contain a joint total of 128,415 words – longer than any one of the first three Harry Potter novels
      • The longest was Microsoft Teams at 18,282 words – or two-and-a-half hours of reading time for many people
      • In 2018, a BBC study found that several website policies required university education levels of reading ability
      • It is not possible to use the services without agreeing to the terms
      • Other long documents discovered by ‘Thinkmoneyincluded Candy Crush (14,189 words), Twitter (11,022), and Facebook (8,588)
      • The word count included both terms and conditions and privacy policies


      Pupils approached for sex in Holbeck’s managed red light zone

      • Pupils living near a legal red light district have been propositioned for sex and their head teacher said he feared one of them could be abducted
      • The Managed Approach (MA) area in Holbeck, Leeds, allows sex workers to operate without fear of prosecution
      • One girl said she was asked for sex as she walked through the zone to school and head teacher Ben Mallinson said he was worried pupils could be harmed
      • Leeds council urged anyone with concerns to get in touch
      • Many students from The Ruth Gorse Academy have to walk through the managed red light district to get to school
      • They said it was a daily occurrence to see sex workers, used condoms and discarded needles lying around and felt at risk

      Children ‘cut off’ from support during lockdown

      • Children are making more calls for help after being “cut off” from support networks during lockdown, the NSPCC said
      • Almost 43,000 counselling session have been delivered by Childline since restrictions were introduced in March
      • Most related to loneliness and low self-esteem, the NSPCC said
      • “The pandemic has cut children off from the reassurance many of them need,” Childline founder, Dame Esther Rantzen, said
      • “When young people are facing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, or are struggling with eating disorders or self-harm, they often hide it from their parents and families.”
      • The NSPCC, which runs Childline, said a spike in counselling sessions for children with eating disorders and body image issues was found, rising from an average of 335 calls a month before lockdown to 443