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February 8, 2023

Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ may soon be available to users aged 13-17

  • Meta wants to make ‘Horizon Worlds’ the virtual reality based social platform available to users aged 13-17.
  • User retention has been low for those aged 18+. It is hoped that the younger base may revitalise the flagship app.
  • Horizon worlds still has a long way to go to be as widely attractive as Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite.
  • Meta wants to make sure they can offer a great experience with age-appropriate tools and protections in place.
  • Creators will be required to mark their worlds as ‘18+’ or for ‘Everyone’ to ensure users know what to expect.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Verge website.

Google will blur explicit images in search by default

  • Google have revealed features designed to make it safer to do things online as part of yesterday’s Safer Internet Day.
  • In the upcoming months Google will blur explicit images in search results even if users don’t have SafeSearch settings turned on.
  • The blur will hide explicit images but not texts or links. However, when SafeSearch settings are turned on all three will be covered.
  • For more on this story, please visit Engadget’s website.

TikTok is crushing YouTube in annual study of children and young peoples’ app usage

  • Qustodio have released their annual global review of children and young peoples’ (CYP) app usage and behaviours.
  • It has shown that CYP aged between 4-18 years watched TikTok more than YouTube.
  • In 2022, CYP have saw their average daily TikTok use rise to 107 minutes, or on average, 60% longer than the time they spent watching videos on YouTube.
  • The report also shows that TikTok overtook other video and social apps, such as Netflix, Snapchat and Instagram, in daily usage.
  • The report further highlighted that 67% of CYP in the UK watch YouTube.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Tech Crunch website.

Parents can learn from young people about how to stay safe online

  • Experts have urged that young people and their carers must talk about the dangers of the internet as yesterday marked Safer Internet Day.
  • New research has shown that young people are keen to have an active role in safety on the internet and are keen to educate older people in their life about their concerns.
  • Research from Vodafone showed almost half of parents feel that when their children reach the age of around 12, they are likely to know more than them about technology.
  • Around 60% of parents said they wished they were more digitally savvy.
  • Many older people are unclear about how to get support with these sorts of issues, with 36% of parents reporting they are not sure of who to go for support.
  • For the full story visit the Independent’s website.

Toxic gaming tackled by Ubisoft’s unique police alert system

  • The gaming industry has been attempting to figure out how to get to grips with behaviours like rape jokes, racism and bullying for years.
  • Ubisoft, makers of major games like Assassin’s Creed and Rainbow Six has signed a “first-of-its-kind” deal with police to try and tackle these issues for its players.
  • At the Newcastle-based Ubisoft Customer Relationship Centre, alongside four other locations around the world, staff monitor how players are getting on and respond to requests for help.
  • They will also actively get involved with communities that have evolved around their titles, dealing with everything from purchasing issues to online toxicity.
  • The deal between Ubisoft and Northumbria Police works by seeing specialist officers share their knowledge and expertise on harmful online interactions and an agreement being set in place meaning staff can fast track information to the police in extreme cases.
  • To learn the full story, go to the BBC’s website.

Child sex abuse victims ‘waiting more than 600 days to see attackers convicted’

  • A report by the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA Centre) found in 2021/22, it took an average of 261 days for police to reach a charging decision after a crime was reported.
  • It then took a further 353 days for the matter to be concluded in court, meaning there was an average of 614 days between the crime being logged and the court case ending.
  • The report says police logged 103,055 child sexual abuse offences in 2021/22, a rise of 15% to the highest level recorded in England and Wales.
  • The CSA Centre believes that these crimes are severely under-reported.
  • For the full story, visit the Independent’s website.