Facebook’s response to child abuse ‘inadequate’

  • A former Facebook employee has told US authorities that the company’s efforts to remove child abuse material from the platform were “inadequate” and “under-resourced”.
  • These allegations were submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) two weeks ago.
  • The anonymous whistle-blower says moderators are “not sufficiently trained and are ill-prepared”.
  • Facebook claims that they use technology known as PhotoDNA and VideoDNA, which automatically scans for known child abuse images.
  • Each image recovered by law enforcement and referred to the American National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is given a unique identifying code.
  • The whistle-blower alleges that there was no solution for illegal material at Facebook because there had not been “adequate assets devoted to the problem”.
  • Full story, here.


TikTok is testing a new tipping feature for some creators

  • TikTok is experimenting with a new tool that allows users to tip some creators directly on their profiles.
  • Any money tipped to creators will go directly to that individual (meaning TikTok won’t take a cut).
  • To qualify, accounts must be in good standing on the platform, have at least 100,000 followers, meet an age requirement, and agree to TikTok’s tips terms.
  • Users must be 18 years or older to send tips to creators, but it doesn’t appear that users must be following the account they’re tipping to use the feature.
  • The ‘tips’ button leads users to a page where they can submit their tip, and this can be done anonymously.
  • The feature is being tested on a limited basis, and no specific roll-out date has been announced.
  • Full story, here.


LGBT Conversion Therapy ban progresses in proposed bill

  • The government has launched a 6-week consultation period exploring how to effectively ban coercive conversion therapies.
  • Growing evidence suggests that there is a strong link between conversion therapy and serious psychological harm.
  • Once the consultation period ends, responses will inform further refinements and the government will prepare to introduce legislation in 2022.
  • This follows proposals for plans to crack down on “coercive and abhorrent” practices that seek to change sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • The government’s proposals emphasise the safeguarding of under 18s, who are often targeted by providers at a young age due to their vulnerability.
  • The Government Equalities Office states that they don’t intend to ban adults from seeking counselling freely.
  • Under the proposals, conversion therapy of all kinds will be banned in England and Wales for those under 18 and adults who are vulnerable and not able to consent properly.
  • Full story, here.


Facebook announces name change to Meta in rebranding effort

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that the social media giant will change its company name to ‘Meta’.
  • The new holding company Meta will encompass Facebook, its largest subsidiary, and apps such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and the virtual reality (VR) brand Oculus.
  • In recent earning reports, the company announced its VR segment has grown substantially.
  • Zuckerberg detailed plans for building the ‘metaverse’ – a digital world comprising virtual reality headsets and augmented reality.
  • This rebrand comes as the company faces a series of public relations crises including whistle-blower accounts detailing Facebook’s profit over safety mindset.
  • Critics have warned that the metaverse project is a distraction from the company’s PR crisis.
  • Full story, here.