Amount of online child abuse threatening to overwhelm UK police

  • The vast and growing volume of child abuse material being created and shared online is threatening to overwhelm police efforts to tackle it, senior officers have told the Guardian
  • The situation is likely to worsen, National Crime Agency (NCA) child abuse lead Rob Jones warned, if social media sites such as Facebook press ahead with further encryption of messaging services
  • Law enforcement against online child abuse in the UK was “the best in the world by some distance”, Jones said. “But we are arresting and dealing with more offenders than ever, the numbers are growing and growing, as are the number of children being safeguarded.”
  • The numbers involved are staggering. The UK’s child abuse image database has 17m unique images on it, and it is growing by 500,000 every two months
  • Children were posting pictures of themselves online and predators were targeting them, Jones explained
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Snapchat will start reminding users to clean out their friends list 

  • Snapchat is introducing a new feature called Friend Check Up
  • On Snapchat, having someone friended could give them access to your story and even possibly your location, depending on your Snap Map settings, so Snapchat wants to make sure that everyone on your friend’s list is still someone you actually want to call your friend
  • This feature could help make the platform safer for users, if they choose to use it
  • It could be a good way to help users realise they might still have somebody friended that you don’t want to see your posts
  • Snapchat says that the feature will be rolling out globally on Android “in the coming weeks” and to iOS devices “in the coming months”
  • The reminder will show up as a notification on your profile screen
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Delay in social media inquest placing social media users at risk 

  • Social media users “may be put at risk” because of delays to an inquest into the death of a teenage girl
  • Molly Russell, 14, killed herself in 2017 after seeing graphic images of self-harm and suicide on Instagram
  • At a pre-inquest review, lawyers for Molly’s family said the material provided to them from Facebook – which owns Instagram – had been redacted or withheld
  • Coroner Andrew Walker said he was troubled by the delay
  • “Every day that it is delayed, poses a potential risk to others exposed to this material,” he said
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Clubhouse taken offline by Chinese authorities 

  • Discussion app Clubhouse appears to have been knocked offline in China, prompting fears it has been blocked by the state’s so-called “Great Firewall”
  • The invite-only app uses audio rather than text to let people chat in rooms, as reported yesterday in our Daily Safeguarding Update
  • Until recently, it had mainly been used by tech enthusiasts in Silicon Valley – but exploded in popularity in China in recent weeks
  • Unlike many Chinese apps, it is uncensored – leading to discussions around topics rarely debated online
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