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February 13, 2023

Twitter is running ads next to tweets from Holocaust deniers

  • Twitter is benefitting from ads placed next to content from toxic and hateful accounts such as those belonging to Neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.
  • The reach of these accounts ranges from thousands to tens of thousands of followers.
  • All the accounts were linked to Twitter Blue, whose subscribers get a cut of the revenue for ads placed beneath their tweets.
  • Twitter’s profits from the ads were up to $19 million a year from a selection of accounts with misogynistic and Neo-Nazi content.
  • Companies whose ads were appearing alongside previously banned accounts said they would stop advertising on Twitter.
  • For more on this, please visit the Verge website.

Google to expand misinformation “pre-bunking” in Europe 

  • Following the success of an initiative to fight online misinformation in Eastern Europe, Google will expand the new initiative to make people more resilient to effects of online misinformation.
  • Using social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and TikTok the tech company will release a series of short videos highlighting common techniques used in misleading claims.
  • The aim of “pre-bunking” is to teach people to spot false claims before they encounter them.
  • Pre-bunking seems to be an efficient way to address large scale misinformation.
  • However, there are some challenges. The effects can wear off, booster videos would be required and videos must be tailored for all languages, cultures and demographics.
  • For more please visit the Independent’s website.

Xbox boss says ‘there’s no silver bullet’ to solving online abuse – but outlines commitment to safety

  • Microsoft’s Xbox Boss, Dave McCarthy, stated there is no definite way to protect women and minority groups that are facing online harassment and abuse.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used by Xbox to protect children online, through recognising abusive behavioural patterns in bot accounts.
  • Despite this technology, Mr McCarthy still believes human ‘language specialists’ need to be used to identify abusive language.
  • Xbox are now utilising its Minecraft franchise, for educational purposes, for example, how children can protect their data and be safe online.
  • This is the result of recent requests for children in the UK to delete their TikTok, to prevent their information being used by Chinese intelligence.
  • Microsoft is now working with the US and UK government on judicial improvements to online safety, with the UK being particularly open to the idea.
  • For more information, see the Sky News website.

Epidemic of self-harm among young children

  • Data from NHS Digital has shown that record numbers of young people are being admitted to hospital for self-harm incidents.
  • The increase is being blamed on lockdowns, social media use and a lack of adequate mental health care by professionals.
  • In one case in particular, a child waited over four years to get professional NHS support.
  • The biggest rise in hospital admissions for self-harm and self-poisoning was among girls aged 9-12 years old.
  • Cases involving girls have soared over the last decade, with incidents now 372% higher.
  • Between April 2021 and April 2022, hospitals admitted 2,911 boys aged between 13 to 17 years old which is a 3% increase from the previous year.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Express website.

‘Rapid rise’ in Andrew Tate-related cases referred to Prevent by Schools

  • Counter-extremism workers have warned of a rapid rise in cases being referred to Prevent by schools, concerned about the influence of Andrew Tate.
  • Incidents included verbal harassment of female teachers and female pupils echoing Andrew Tate’s views.
  • Warnings come amidst criticism of a review of Prevent by William Shawcross which concluded the “misogynistic incel subculture” had been drawn to Andrew Tate.
  • To read the full story, go to the Yahoo News website.