Facebook adds encrypted voice and video calls in messenger and tests secure Instagram DMs   

  • Facebook is adding encrypted voice and video calls in Messenger and is currently testing the same encryption for Instagram Direct Messages (DMs).  
  • Secure texts have been an option over Facebook Messenger since 2016 by choosing the ‘Secret Conversation’ option in the menu.  
  • The new encrypted video and voice calls will be accessible in the same way and encryption for group chats and calls are coming soon.  
  • Instagram’s encrypted direct messages, meanwhile, are currently being tested for adults in certain countries.  
  • Secure Instagram DMs are an ‘opt-in’ feature and require users to have an existing chat or be following each other to start an end-to-end encrypted DMs.  
  • For tips on staying safe on Messenger, check out our safety card here.  
  • Full story, here.   

UK leaders claim plan to ban phones from classrooms is out of touch 

  • School and college leaders have condemned the government’s plan to ban mobile phones from classrooms as outdated and out of touch. 
  • The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) argues that schools already have control over mobile phone usage and should be allowed to decide on further appropriate rules.  
  • Julie McCulloch, the director of policy at ASCL claims that phones can be used to help with learning, sourcing information, and for secondary schools, to teach about responsible phone use and online harms.  
  • The ASCL also reported that some of the emergency measures deployed during the pandemic should be kept, such as staggering the end of the school day, keeping pupils in peer group bubbles, having more time outdoors and appointing older pupils as mentors to support younger ones. 
  • Full story, here.  

Facebook confirms ban of Taliban-related content 

  • Facebook says it has banned the Taliban and all related content  from its platforms as it considers the group to be a terrorist organisation. 
  • Facebook has a team of Afghan experts responsible for monitoring and removing content linked to the group.  
  • Facebook highlighted that the policy applies to all their platforms. 
  • This includes Instagram and WhatsApp, despite reports that the Taliban is using WhatsApp to communicate.  
  • Full story, here 

Twitter appoints leader for decentralised social media project ‘Bluesky 

  • Bluesky, a decentralised social media network project funded by Twitter, aims to create a common protocol for social media platforms.  
  • Jay Graber, the start-up founder, and cryptocurrency developer has been appointed the lead of the project.  
  • The goal of the project is to create an open and decentralised standard protocol that can be used by platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.  
  • This means that online posts would not be constrained to the network on which they are shared.  
  • Decentralising social media could allow users to have more power over a service and control their identity and data. 
  • Full story, here