Tech giants must be more transparent on online harms

  • An open letter from charities, online safety campaigners and academics for the Prime Minister and Culture Secretary has been signed.
  • The letter asks for them to amend the Online Safety Bill to improve data sharing provisions from tech giants.
  • The Online Safety Bill in its current form, leaves companies in control of what data is available.
  • Campaigners are urging MPs to give more power to Ofcom, to help platforms be more easily held to account.
  • You can read the full story on the Belfast Telegraph’s website.

Social platforms’ Buffalo shooting response called inadequate

  • Campaign group Hope Not Hate has called social media platform’s response to the spread of graphic and far-right material from the attack in Buffalo “inadequate”.
  • A copy of the shooting livestream was viewed more than 3 million times on an alternative website before removal and a link on Facebook was shared more than 46,000 times.
  • The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) says there has been “significant efforts” from platforms to remove English-language copies of the shooter’s manifesto and footage, but “content-moderation efforts are not creating equal results” for other languages.
  • You can read the full story on the BBC’s website.

Mother sues TikTok after 10-year-old died from viral challenge

  • The mother of a 10-year-old girl who died after taking part in the ‘Blackout Challenge’ has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok.
  • A forensic analysis of the child’s phone revealed she used the TikTok app to watch Blackout Challenge videos.
  • The mother accuses TikTok and its parent company ByteDance of unleashing a ‘predatory and manipulative app’ which ‘pushes exceedingly and unacceptably dangerous challenges’ in front of children.
  • For guidance on responding to online challenges, check out our article.
  • You can read the full story on the Washington Post’s website.

Bedfordshire bids to stop absent pupils ‘falling prey’ to gangs

  • Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is piloting an early intervention approach to absenteeism and gang membership across six secondary schools in the county.
  • The approach will involve youth workers visiting the homes of pupils who are absent to prevent them falling prey to gangs.
  • He has said that 83% of young knife offenders had been persistently absent from school.
  • You can read the full story on the BBC’s website.

ChatHealth text service launched to help young people ‘open up’

  • A text messaging system called ChatHealth has been launched across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
  • It is designed for 11-to-19-year-olds who want help with health issues.
  • It is hoped that young people will feel more confident to flag personal issues via text rather than face to face.
  • The confidential service is delivered by school nurses, and they can offer advice or pass students to other services to help them further.
  • You can read the full story on the BBC’s website.