TikTok expands DM settings

  • TikTok has expanded its direct messaging settings, enabling users to choose who they want to receive messages from.
  • The options available now are: suggested friends, everyone, mutual followers, people you have sent messaged to or no one.
  • To change your settings, you need to tap the Profile icon at the bottom of TikTok’s home screen, tap the Menu button at the top and select “Settings and privacy” and then tap “Privacy”. Users will need to select “Direct messages” and choose who you allow to send you DMs.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Tech Crunch website.

Sexual abuse imagery of primary school children 1000% worse since lockdown

  • A new Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) report warns that the full effects of lockdown are only becoming clear as younger children are groomed into sexual abuse online.
  • It states that since 2019, it has seen a 1058% increase in the number of webpages showing child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) of children aged between 7 and 10 years of age.
  • Of these cases, 14% contained Category A material which is the most severe kind of material that can include penetrative sexual activity, sadism or sexual activity with an animal.
  • These instances were often recorded via an internet connected device by a predator who contacted their victims online.
  • The charity warns that during the pandemic, thousands of children relied on the internet to learn, play and socialise and this has been exploited by predators.
  • Chief Executive of the IWF, Susie Hargreaves has warned parents of this “online backdoor into their homes which is leaving their children vulnerable.”
  • For more on this please visit the IWF’s website.

Schools making most referrals to anti-terror programme for first time

  • New data published by the Home Office has suggested that schoolboys account for the highest proportion of people considered most at risk of radicalisation by the Government’s anti-terror programme ‘Prevent’.
  • There were 6406 total referrals to Prevent this year, which is a 30% increase on the previous period.
  • The education sector made up 36% of referrals, outperforming the police who made up 28% of the total.
  • Children under the age of 15 made up the largest proportion of referrals from all age groups that were considered most at risk of becoming radicalised and turning to terrorism.
  • The second highest category for referrals made was about extreme right-wing radicalisation.
  • A review of Prevent is reportedly due to be published next month.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Express and Star website.

Labour: Young people being trafficked ‘into cannabis farms or prostitution’

  • Labour has suggested that young people are being trafficked across the Channel to the UK and then “into cannabis farms or into prostitution”.
  • The Home Office have contested any suggestion that children are being kidnapped and said that “the wellbeing of children and minors in our care is an absolute priority”.
  • This came after Immigration Minister said that more than 4,600 unaccompanied children have been accommodated in hotels since July 2021, and that 200 of these remain missing.
  • He also said that 88% of the unaccompanied asylum-seeking children missing are Albanian nationals.
  • For the full story, go to the Independent’s website.