TikTok sued for billions over use of children’s data  

  • TikTok is facing a legal challenge from former Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield over how it collects and uses children’s data. 
  • The claim is being filed on behalf of millions of children in the UK and EU who have used the hugely popular video-sharing app. 
  • If successful, the children affected could each be owed thousands of pounds. 
  • TikTok said the case was without merit and it would fight it. 
  • According to Ofcom, 44% of eight to 12-year-olds in the UK use TikTok, despite its policies forbidding under-13s on the platform.
  • For the full story, select here

Instagram release new features to filter abusive DMs  

  • Instagram announced a new tool today that will allow users to automatically filter out direct message requests containing offensive words, phrases, and emojis.  
  • The tool is targeted at celebrities and public figures who receive a large number of unwanted, harmful DMs. 
  • The update builds on Instagram’s work to combat hate speech on the platform.  
  • The message requests filter can be toggled on or off in a new section of the app called “hidden words.”  
  • When it’s on, offensive messages will be pushed to a separate folder, where they are concealed, allowing users to browse messages without needing to read what they say.
  • If a user taps into a message, they can read, delete, or report it.
  • For the full story, select here

Police raid County Lines operation to free children working to pay off drug debt 

  • Police have arrested five people suspected of county lines dealing, including some who tricked children into working off imagined drug debts. 
  • Officers struck at eight homes in targeted dawn raids across London, Hampshire and Berkshire this morning. 
  • Police said they rescued four young children and vulnerable people in the operation. They are now being looked after by specialist officers. 
  • Three men and two women, aged between 20 and 40 years old, were arrested on suspicion of offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and modern slavery. 
  • The early stages of the investigation led officers to believe young children and extremely vulnerable adults were being used to deal drugs along the county lines and held against their will to pay fabricated debts.
  • For the full story, select here.
  • To learn more about County Lines, read out recent article here.


        Man sentenced after attempting to groom underage girls  

        • A father of 3 has been sentenced after talking to underage girls online, one of which was an undercover police officer.  
        • Leicestershire Police raided his house and seized his computer, where they discovered evidence of other girls he had communicated with, including one 13-year-old girl who sent him a topless photo. 
        • After his arrest, he  was charged with attempting to engaging in sexual communication with a child and inciting sexual activity. He pleaded guilty to both charges. 
        • The offenders defence claimed that the offender’s marriage broke down during lockdown, leading to longer times spent online.  
        • The Judge sentenced the offender to four months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to take part in 30 days of probation programmes and sign the sex offenders register for the next seven years.
        • For the full story, select here