Facebook: Smoking and alcohol ads ‘target Australian children’ 

  • Facebook approved adverts targeting teenage children interested in gambling, smoking and extreme weight loss, a report says
  • Research by the lobby group Reset Australia created a Facebook page under the name Ozzie News Network to explore the advertising options. 
  • It was able to create targeted ads, based on profiling by the technology giant, for as little as A$3 (£2.16). 
  • Facebook told BBC News it reviewed each ad before and after publication.
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NSPCC child abuse helpline has record call numbers in pandemic 

  • Children’s charity the NSPCC says calls and messages to its helpline have risen to record levels during the pandemic. 
  • In the year to March 2021, the helpline was contacted almost 85,000 times, up 23% on the previous year. 
  • The figures amplify fears that children who could not go to school during the lockdowns were more vulnerable to abuse and neglect, says the NSPCC. 
  • Chief executive Sir Peter Wanless says government recovery plans must address the harm children may have faced.
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Students want sexual consent test in university 

  • A majority of UK students think there should be a compulsory test on understanding sexual consent at the start of university, a survey suggests. 
  • The Higher Education Policy Institute’s survey found 58% of students backed the idea of having to pass a test to show they “fully understand” consent. 
  • Universities have faced warnings about sexual harassment on campus. 
  • The ‘Everyone’s Invited’ website has published anonymous accounts of students facing abuse and sexual assaults. 
  • The think tank’s survey of 1,000 students found only a quarter felt they had been adequately prepared by sex education in school to have a “comprehensive understanding of sexual consent”. 
  • There were particular concerns about understanding consent when alcohol and drugs were involved.
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    Dale Tyson: ‘Deplorable’ sex offender may have more victims 

    • A man who used a fake online profile to dupe children into sending him graphic images of themselves may have targeted “many more”, police have said. 
    • The offender, aged 30, tricked 10 victims in the UK and US by pretending to be a young North American man. 
    • Detectives believe there may be more victims and have urged anyone who thinks they may have been targeted by him to come forward. 
    • The offender, who is from Harrogate, was jailed for 10 years after he admitted 17 offences. 
    • During a hearing at York Crown Court on Friday, he pleaded guilty to charges including causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making indecent photographs of a child.
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    G7 tech leaders agree bold new proposals to boost online safety worldwide 

    • An ambitious vision to put technology at the heart of global efforts to build back better from the pandemic has been signed by the world’s leading democracies. 
    • Leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and EU signed a declaration containing a series of shared principles on how to tackle the global challenge of online safety. 
    • Measures will pressure online firms to have systems and processes in place to reduce illegal and harmful activity and prioritise the protection of children. 
    • The principles say that any steps to improve online safety must support the values of open and democratic societies and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
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