Instagram surpasses 2 billion monthly users  

  • Instagram has reached more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide.
  • The last time the Instagram’s user numbers were made public was in June 2018, when the platform crossed the 1 billion users’ threshold.
  • This milestone has been achieved at a time of heightened scrutiny, intense competition from rival platform TikTok and the introduction of tougher online safety regulations.
  • Check out our Instagram safety card, here.
  • Full story, here.

Twitter introduces automatic captions for videos

  • Twitter is now rolling out automatic captions for videos, these will be available globally and in ‘most languages,’ according to the platform.
  • These captions will only appear on new videos uploaded to Twitter and there is currently no way to report inaccurate captions.
  • This follows scrutiny of the platform for not having a dedicated team responsible for accessibility after they released voice tweets in 2020 without captions.
  • Check out our Twitter safety card, here.
  • Full story, here.

So called ‘revenge porn soars after lockdown

  • Figures released from the Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) show that reports of image-based abuse have nearly doubled in the space of a year.
  • Calls to the RPH amounted to 3,146 in 2020, compared to 1,680 in 2019.
  • Lockdown is said to have created a ‘pressure cooker’ for abusive relationships.
  • Cases of sexual extortion – the blackmailing of victims by criminal gangs, usually involving money, had also tripled in this period.
  • RPH findings show that men were five times more likely to be a victim of sexual extortion, with 600 cases reported last year compared to 200 in 2019.
  • A female victim of image-based abuse will have 42 images of themselves shared non-consensually online, whilst this figure stood at less than two for male victims.
  • Full story, here.


2.1 million young people at risk of digital exclusion in the UK  

  • A report published by Nominet explored digital access, inclusion, digital skills, safety online and physical and mental wellbeing.
  • The survey captured responses from 2,000 8- to 25-year-olds and collected findings from conversations with parents, schools, social workers, and youth workers.
  • Findings show that 2.1 million young people are at risk of digital exclusion in the UK.
  • 32% of 17–19-year-olds say the internet has a negative impact on their mental health and 44% of young people say they feel isolated.
  • To read the full report, click here.
  • Full story, here.

Star Hobson: The short life and death of a beloved toddler  

(Please note this story contains graphic descriptions and sensitive material that readers may find upsetting)

  • Savannah Brockhill, partner of Star Hobson’s mother, Frankie Smith, has been found guilty of the murder of the 16-month-old.
  • Smith was also found guilty of causing and allowing the toddler’s death – the pair will be sentenced today.
  • Star was gradually isolated from her loving family members and subjected to severe physical abuse, coercive control, and psychological torture.
  • Star eventually died of her injuries in September 2021 in her mother’s flat in West Yorkshire.
  • A joint statement has been issues by the Bradford Safeguarding Partnership and A Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review is due to be published in January 2022.
  • Full story, here.

Heads warn of Omicron chaos in English schools   

  • School leaders and unions have warned of the ‘chaos’ that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will bring to schools.
  • Some year groups are being sent home to work remotely and, in some schools, up to half the teaching workforce is absent in areas with high infection rates.
  • The Teaching Union, NASUWT, has urged the government to introduce more protective measures such as better ventilation, masks in classrooms and tougher isolation rules to help mitigate risk in the run up to Christmas.
  • This follows reports that parents are planning to keep their children home to mitigate the risk of catching COVID-19 before Christmas.
  • Full story, here.