Instagram makes under-16s accounts private by default

  • This move is in response to the upcoming Online Safety Bill pushing digital platforms to safeguard children against potential harms online. There has been backlash aimed at children’s charities recently for failing to remove harmful content and investigations in Europe for use of children’s data. 
  • While the platform relies on a user’s age listed in their account to moderate content – some users may lie to avoid these restrictions.  
  • By defaulting accounts to private, only approved followers can see posts, stories and ‘like’ and/or comment
  • For full story, read here.

Twitter accused of inaction on anti-Semitic tweets

  • The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) claims Twitter policies on hateful material are failing – out of 1,000 anti-Semitic tweets reported by CAA, only 40% breached policies. 
  • In December 2020, only 40 out of 239 tweets reported for anti-Semitism were removed. The CAA group claim there was “little difference” between prohibited tweets and those permitted on the platform.  
  • The CAA was invited to become a ‘Twitter partner’ last year, following protests after an incident involving UK grime artist, Wiley and anti-Semitic tweets.
  • The group claims that there has been little contact with Twitter following initial discussions and more needs to be done.
  • Read the full story here.

TikTok to create Dublin cybersecurity centre  

  • The centre is to create 50 jobs and cover specialist areas including security, privacy and policy, threat and incidence response, governance, compliance, and risk mitigation.
  • The centre will allow TikTok to discover threats and protect its users, while improving global efforts to combat identity theft and crimes involving children more effectively. 
  • Read the full story here.

WHO brands e-cigarettes as ‘harmful’ and pushes for better regulation  

  • The report concern that e-cigarette products could re-normalise smoking behaviour.
  • Findings in recent years claim that 4.8% of young people between the ages of 11 to 18-years vaped at least once during March 2020
  • This follows concerns that young people are vaping before smoking cigarettes, the findings indicated that a fifth who tried vaping had done so before smoking. 
  • In the report, Dr Tedros gives a warning around e-cigarette devices being promoted aggressively as ‘safer’ or ‘smoke-free’.
  • For full story, see here.