Instagram introduces new safety measures to stop adults messaging teens 

      • Instagram is adding safety measures designed to protect teenagers from unwanted direct messages from adults. 
      • Older users will be able to privately message teenagers who follow them only. 
      • And messages will be overlaid with a notice reminding teenagers they need not respond to anything that makes them uncomfortable. 
      • The measures will work only if accounts have users’ correct ages, which young people sometimes lie about to avoid restrictions on what they can see. 
      • Likewise, predators might pretend to be younger than they actually are.
      • Instagram said it was developing “new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology” to help tackle the challenge of age verification, especially in cases where account holders have not been honest.
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        Scottish Police warn of rise in sextortion  

        • Reports of sextortion rose significantly last year, according to figures from Police Scotland
        • Between January and August 2020, 283 sextortion crimes were recorded, compared to 196 offences in the same period in 2019, an increase of 44 per cent. 
        • The youngest victim was aged just 10, while the oldest was 85. 
        • The majority of the victims – 182 or 64 per cent – were young people aged 25 and under, and sixty per cent were male. 
        • Over half of the male victims were aged between 13 and 23 years old, while around half of female victims were aged between 10 and 17. 
        • Sextortion is cyber-enabled extortion that involves the threat of sharing sexual information, images or video clips to coerce people into paying money or further images.  
        • For the full story, select here 

        Social media influencers warned over misleading posts and advertising 

        • The UK advertising watchdog has warned social media influencers that they face being named and shamed, after a spot check of posts found widespread flouting of advertising rules. 
        • The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) monitored the Instagram accounts of 122 UK-based influencers over a three-week period last September, which involved assessing more than 24,000 posts, to see if they were following rules that state they must declare when their posts are ads.  
        • It found that while nearly a quarter of the posts were ads, only 35% of those were clearly labelled as such. 
        • The ASA said the level of non-compliance with the UK ad code was “unacceptable” and it has contacted all the social media influencers, and a number of brands, putting them “on notice” that future breaches could lead to them being publicly named and shamed by the regulator. 
        • For the full story, select here. 

          Teenager charged with hacking celebrity Twitter accounts 

              • A US teenager has pleaded guilty to hacking several high-profile Twitter accounts in a large-scale Bitcoin scam. 
              • Graham Ivan Clark was 17 when he co-ordinated the scam – which hijacked the profiles of celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Barack Obama. 
              • He would spend three years in prison as part of his plea deal, a Florida court filing said. 
              • But Clark has already served 229 days of this three-year sentence. 
              • Now 18, but sentenced as a “youthful offender”, he may also be able to serve some of the sentence at a boot camp, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 
              • Clark will also be banned from using computers without permission and supervision from law enforcement. 
              • For the full story, select here 

              Football’s child sex abuse scandal: Sheldon review finds ‘institutional failings’ 

                • “Significant institutional failings” by the Football Association meant it “did not do enough to keep children safe” – according to the findings of an independent review into historical child sexual abuse in the game. 
                • It found the FA was “too slow” to have sufficient protection measures in place between October 1995 and May 2000. 
                • It said there was no evidence the FA knew of a problem before summer 1995. 
                • The report focused on the abuse of children between 1970 and 2005. 
                • For the full story, select here 

                  Covid lockdown: Children as young as eight self-harming, doctor says 

                    • Children as young as eight are self-harming amid an unprecedented mental health crisis fuelled by the stress of lockdown, a consultant has said. 
                    • Staff at Bradford Royal Infirmary are regularly seeing youngsters who have attempted suicide or taken overdoses. 
                    • The number of children attending A&E in mental ill health has risen from once or twice a week to the same daily. 
                    • Consultant Dave Greenhorn said: “We’ve seen all sorts of tragic things that we haven’t seen before,” he said. 
                    • Mr Greenhorn said although the majority of children were in their teens, those as young as eight were being seen, which was “extremely unusual” before the pandemic. 
                    • For the full story, select here