Online safety bill returns to parliament after five-month delay

  • The online safety bill, the government’s flagship internet regulation, returns to parliament today.
  • Throughout the process it has changed substantially, from its original focus on online harms such as abuse and harassment, through a switch to child protection concerns around suicide and self-harm in the wake of Molly Russell.
  • The reintroduction of the bill comes with a number of elements designed to soften objections on the grounds of free speech.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Guardian’s website.

New study says risky online behaviour ‘almost normalised’ among young people

  • According to EU-funded research, risky and criminal online behaviour is in danger of becoming normalised among young people across nine European countries, including the UK.
  • A survey of 8,000 young people found one in four aged 16-19 have trolled someone online, one in eight have engaged in online harassment and one in five have engaged in sexting.
  • The survey asked young people about 20 types of behaviour online, including looking at pornographic material, posting revenge porn, making self-generated sexual images and posting hate speech.
  • The research indicated that just under half of participants engaged in behaviour that could be considered criminal, with co-author of the research Julia Davidson stating “online risk-taking has become almost normalised”.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Guardian’s website.

Twitter to rely more on AI than staff to detect hate speech

  • The Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) reported that hate speech has reportedly increased since Elon Musk’s takeover.
  • Another research group at the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) had earlier found that the use of the N-word increased by nearly 500% in the 12 hours immediately after Musk’s deal to buy Twitter was finalised.
  • Research also suggested that slurs against gay men and antisemitic posts rose after Musk bought Twitter.
  • Twitter is relying more on artificial intelligence to moderate content instead of banking on staff to conduct manual checks.
  • This comes after layoffs of Twitter’s entire workforce with staff numbers dropping from 7,500 to 2,000.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Independent’s website.

Children affected by domestic abuse given automatic victim status

  • The CPS have announced that children who have been affected by domestic abuse will be treated as victims regardless of whether they were present during violent incidents.
  • Under the updated legal guidance, children will get automatic access to support such as mental health and safeguarding services.
  • Prosecutors will also be asked to specifically consider the impact that domestic abuse has on children when making a decision.
  • This will include speaking to schools or Child Services to support evidence of long-term abuse.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Independent’s website.