TikTok updates Safety Centre resources following internal research on harmful challenges

  • TikTok released the results of its own internal research into how young people engage with potentially harmful challenges and hoaxes online.
  • A survey was completed by more than 10,000 teens, parents, and teachers from various countries including the UK.
  • Young people rated the risk level of recent online challenges with almost half (48%) being described as safe, fun, and light-hearted.
  • 32% of challenges were rated as involving ‘some risk’ but still safe, 14% described as risky and dangerous and 3% as very dangerous.
  • Only 0.3% of young people reported attempting a challenge they described as very dangerous.
  • The report also explored the impact of ‘false warnings’ alleging that children are being encouraged to commit self-harming acts or suicide.
  • 31% of young people exposed to false warnings experienced negative impacts and 65% of those young people reported their mental health was negatively impacted.
  • TikTok has released a new set of resources to give parents and children more information on online challenges and hoaxes.
  • These include advice on how to assess risk and a prompt encouraging them to visit the Safety Centre if they search for hoaxes linked to suicide or self-harm.
  • Full story, here.


Meta accused of continuing to monitor young people for ad targeting

  • According to new research, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has kept its algorithm to track children and young people’s activity.
  • The data is then used to inform which ads are targeted to young people to maximise engagement and boost ad revenues.
  • In response, Meta has denied that it is using the data for ad personalisation on its platforms but made no comment on why it’s still monitoring and collecting data on young users.
  • The research by Fairplay, Global Action Plan and Reset Australia found that Meta continues to optimise algorithms for young users.
  • This follows an announcement that Facebook has removed ‘sensitive’ ad categories preventing advertisers from targeting users based on sexual orientation, religion, and political beliefs.
  • Plans to amend EU’s draft legislation to include the ban on all surveillance advertising has been backed by privacy advocates and advocacy groups including the Tech Transparency Project.
  • Full story, here.


Twitter’s improved labels for potential misinformation in tweets

  • Twitter is rolling out improved labels for misinformation in tweets.
  • The new labels will be displayed with different messages and alert colours for different kinds of potentially misleading elements in tweets.
  • The labels will help explain why the tweet has been flagged and to make users aware of misleading claims that don’t otherwise violate its guidelines.
  • This follows the initial release of misinformation tags in February, but these were criticised as too small and unclear.
  • Twitter has been criticised in the past for playing a part in the spread of harmful misinformation often originating from the platform, before spreading to other networks.
  • For more on misinformation, check out our blog.
  • Full story, here.


Ofsted to inspect all schools and colleges in England

  • Ofsted is to inspect all schools and colleges in England to understand how the education system is recovering after the pandemic.
  • Over 24,000 schools and 335 further education providers will be inspected at least once by summer 2025, inclusive of last term’s inspections.
  • Ofsted will receive an extra £24m to fund the inspections.
  • Schools will receive either graded or ungraded inspections depending on their circumstances, while college inspections will be full and graded in efforts to enhance local needs.
  • Ofsted removed inspections for all ‘outstanding’ schools in 2012, which left many schools without up-to-date inspection gradings for several years until Ofsted resumed inspections in September 2020.
  • Headteachers have strongly criticised these plans, with widespread calls from across the education sector to suspend all routine inspections while COVID-19 disruptions are ongoing.
  • Full story, here.