Twitch releases new rules on hate and harassment 

  • Twitch has unveiled a new, detailed policy on hateful conduct and harassment, that will come into effect on the 22nd of January
  • Twitch is a streaming website, where users can play video games whilst their followers watch them
  • The updates fall into three categories — hateful conduct, harassment, and sexual harassment
  • Starting with hateful conduct, Twitch has added three protected identity characteristics to its list — caste, color, and immigration status — meaning users will face punishment for attacking someone based on these traits
  • In terms of harassment, Twitch added the following specific behaviors to its lineup of offenses: claiming the victim of a well-documented tragedy is a crisis actor; encouraging others to doxx, hack, swat, or DDoS someone; and inciting malicious raids of another person’s social media profiles
  • Under the new rules, Twitch has made sexual harassment a separate category and “adopted a much lower tolerance for objectifying or harassing behavior

Reddit buys TikTok rival App 

  • Reddit has thrown its hat into the ring against TikTok with the acquisition of Berlin-founded short video-sharing app Dubsmash for an unknown sum
  • The privately-held social network said on Sunday that it would keep Dubsmash as a separate app while integrating its video creation tools into its own service
  • In a company blog post, Reddit pointed to Dubsmash’s popularity among female users and ethnic minority creators, with about 25pc of all black teenagers in the United States using the app
  • The sale makes Reddit a surprising winner in the bidding war that has unfolded over Dubsmash, which at one time was reportedly being courted by Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter
  • Founded in Germany in 2014 and now based in New York City, it has bounced back from a dire decline in users to become one of the most promising contenders for TikTok’s viral video crown

Teenager charged with killing a child

  • A teenager has been charged with the murder of a 12-year-old boy found dead in Lincolnshire
  • The child was found on a patch of common land behind Alcorn Green in Fishtoft, near Boston, on Saturday
  • Lincolnshire Police said a 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named due to his age, had been charged with murder and was due to appear in court later
  • The force said a 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remained in police custody

London council tells schools to teach online

  • The London borough of Greenwich has become the first in England to ask all schools to move learning online from Tuesday amid rising Covid cases
  • The council’s Labour leader Danny Thorpe has written to parents and headteachers saying it is justified by the “extreme risk” of the virus
  • The National Education Union said the decision was “very sensible”
  • But the Department for Education said it remained a national priority to keep schools open full time
  • In two letters, to parents and headteachers, Mr. Thorpe explained why he is asking schools to close
  • “I wouldn’t be asking for this unless the risk was extreme, but with numbers rising so rapidly it is clear action is needed,” he wrote to parents

Foster carer jailed for grooming a young girl 

  • A man has been jailed for 16 months after a court heard how he targeted the youngster when she was aged nine and ten
  • The victim was not a child he had responsibility for as a foster parent
  • Leeds Crown Court heard that the offender sexually assaulted the girl on three occasions over 12 months
  • The man was interviewed and initially denied the offences
  • He later pleaded guilty to three offences of sexual assault of a girl aged under 13
  • A probation service report assessed him as posing a high risk of harm.
  • Sentencing the offender, Judge Robin Maris said “you made denials and I have read with care how this has had a psychological effect on her, these offences are so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified”