TikTok partners with UN Women to raise awareness of gender-based violence

  • TikTok introduced a new in-app information hub with information on gender-based violence aimed at educating its users.
  • The hub went live yesterday on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls and will remain live until the 10th of December.
  • The hub was introduced in partnership with UN Women and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) NGOs around the world.
  • Users can access resources on how to recognise harmful gender norms, on consent and give users the opportunity to hear from survivors of gender-based violence.
  • Find out about our upcoming webinar on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, here.


Spotify tests TikTok-like vertical video feature

  • Spotify is testing a vertical video feed for iPhone in a new ‘Discover tab’ on the app’s front page.
  • This tab features vertical music video clips that users can swipe through rapidly, like TikTok’s interface.
  • It’s not clear whether the feature is set up for wider release or if it will pass testing.
  • TikTok’s vertical video style has inspired other apps to introduce similar features such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
  • Full story, here.


New cyber laws will protect phones and fitness trackers

  • A new proposed law will mandate ‘baseline security requirements’ for devices like smart TVs, phones and fitness trackers.
  • The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (PSTI) aims to protect consumers from attacks from hackers.
  • Key points from the PSTI Bill include a ban on easy-to-guess default passwords.
  • The PSTI Bill will be overseen by a regulator and there will be fines for non-compliance.
  • Full story, here.


EU seeks to block political ads targeting ethnicity and religion

  • The European Commission (EC) has proposed a ban on some types of targeted political ads.
  • This includes ads targeted at ethnic origin, religion, health status or sexual orientation, unless users give explicit consent.
  • If rules come into force, advertisers would have to provide clear details on the criteria they use for targeting and on the “amplification tools or methods” they use.
  • This follows Facebook removing ‘sensitive’ ad categories preventing advertisers from targeting users based on sexual orientation, religion, and political beliefs.
  • The Commission hopes that these measures can help election integrity by making it more difficult to target and mislead certain groups.
  • Full story, here.


Councils in England report 34% rise in elective home education

  • Councils in England report a 34% rise in parents choosing to teach children at home.
  • The pandemic seems to have accelerated this trend, with health fears over COVID-19 being cited by parents as the driving force in the decision.
  • The report warns that many of the elective home education notifications have been received from families with “multiple layers of vulnerability where home education doesn’t seem the most appropriate”.
  • The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ACDS) is awaiting on the outcome of a Department for Education (DfE) consultation on proposed duties for local authorities.
  • The consultation included a proposed national register for elective home educated children and young people and a duty for local authorities to support parents.
  • Full story, here.