New children’s privacy design code comes into force

  • The 12-month grace period given for compliance with the age-appropriate design code to protect children online expired on the 1st of September.
  • The code came into effect on the 2nd of September 2020, but a 12-month grace period allowed platforms to adapt their services.
  • This means that apps offering digital services, likely to be accessed by users under 18-years-old, are expected to comply with a set of standards intended to safeguard children and young people from being tracked and profiled.
  • The code highlights that a high level of privacy should be applied to settings by default if the user is suspected of being a child, including turning off geo-location and profiling.
  • The code can be found here.
  • Full story, here.

Twitter’s new Safety Mode autoblocks abusive accounts

  • Twitter is launching a new feature called Safety Mode that will temporarily autoblock accounts that send harmful or abusive tweets to other users..
  • Safety Mode is currently in beta with a “small feedback group” of accounts on iOS, Android, and
  • Twitter plans to expand the tester group in the coming months.
  • When enabled, Safety Mode will assess the likelihood of negative engagement by considering the Tweet and the relationship between Tweet author and replier.
  • The abusive accounts are temporarily blocked for seven days and autoblocks made in error can be undone.
  • Full story, here.

TikTok offers new Family Pairing resources for parents

  • TikTok is expanding Family Pairing resources with advice for parents.
  • The new resources were developed in collaboration with young people and online youth safety experts at Internet Matters.
  • New and existing parent or guardian accounts linked via Family Pairing will receive access to insights and suggestions on how to approach conversations about digital literacy and safety.
  • These will also be available in the Guardian Section on TikTok’s Safety Centre.
  • The insights from young people on the type of support they need include helping them to understand the rules, respecting their privacy and trusting them online.
  • Full story, here.

Reddit bans anti-vaccine subreddit r/NoNewNormal after site-wide protest

  • Reddit has banned anti-vaccine and anti-mask subreddit r/NoNewNormal and has ‘quarantined’ 54 other subreddits associated with COVID denialism.
  • This follows last week’s rejection of a call to ban coronavirus misinformation in favour of “dissent”, open discussion and debate by Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman.
  • The subreddit r/NoNewNormal was reported by the Reddit community as a source of vaccine misinformation and was accused of interfering with other subreddit’s discussions about COVID or related policies.
  • For the 54 other subreddits that have been quarantined, Reddit warns potential visitors that medical advice should come from doctors rather than forum members.
  • Before Reddit’s ban, many of Reddit’s most popular subreddits have been going private and hiding their posts from people who aren’t subscribed to them to protest the company’s inaction.
  • Full story, here.