Every Twitter web user can use ‘soft block’ feature

  • Twitter is rolling out a new feature that lets any user on the web remove a follower without blocking them, also known as a “soft block.”
  • This feature was announced as being ‘in testing’ last month but is now available to every Twitter web user.
  • To ‘soft block’ someone, users click on the three-dot menu button next to a follower’s name and select ‘Remove this follower’.
  • The ‘soft block’ feature gives Twitter users more control and aims to help curb abuse and harassment.
  • This follows Twitter’s announcement of a ‘Safety Mode’ that temporarily blocks abusive accounts, although this is still in the testing phase.
  • Full story, here.

Parents worry about eating disorder material on Instagram

  • Parents have revealed their daughters’ experiences on Instagram with eating disorder material on the platform.
  • As the months progressed on social media, girls fell into pro-diet, pro-exercise, and pro-eating disorder hashtags, which helped trigger the onset of eating disorders.
  • This follows the testimony of Facebook whistle-blower, Frances Haugen who revealed Instagram’s impact on girls’ mental health.
  • Parents highlighted the impact of influencers’ edited photos and Instagram’s algorithm.
  • The algorithm is designed to recommend content similar to what users have shared, viewed, or clicked on in the past – creating a feedback loop that some vulnerable teens cannot escape.
  • Parents and experts urge Facebook to do more to minimise exposure to such content and protect children.
  • Full story, here.

 12-15 vaccine take-up just 3% in some areas in England

  • A Tes analysis revealed that as few as 3% of secondary students aged 12-15 have received COVID-19 vaccinations in parts of England.
  • Areas that were hit with the highest levels of educational disruption in the pandemic are among those with the lowest pupil vaccination uptake.
  • Across all local authority areas, an average of 11% of 12- to 15-year-olds have received the vaccination
  • In eight local authority areas, the vaccination figure is lower than 5%, while some areas have a rate of 30%.
  • The analysis shows that the government target to vaccinate all 12- to 15-year-olds by October half-term may be delivered.
  • School leaders are calling for urgent support to ensure vaccinations teams are adequately resourced to finish the national programme as soon as possible.
  • This follows news of anti-vaccination protests outside schools, letters threatening headteachers and the rising COVID-rates among students.
  • Full story, here.