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February 22, 2023

NSPCC report shows that child abuse image offences in the UK have soared

  • Police have recorded an increase in child abuse image offences in the UK over the past year, with over 30,000 being reported.
  • This is a 66% increase on figures released five years ago.
  • The NSPCC attribute this increase, in part, to young people being groomed into sharing images of their own abuse online.
  • Additionally, tech companies are failing to stop their sites being used to “organise, commit and share child sexual abuse.”
  • More than 4,000 incidents were reported on Snapchat and 3000 on Meta.
  • The NSPCC have identified the need for a “child safety advocate” to be included in the Online Safety Bill.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Guardian’s website.

Teenagers are learning more about sexual health from TikTok than they are at school

  • A study commissioned by Superdrug Online Doctor surveyed 2,000 social media users to understand information seeking habits surrounding sexual health advice in the UK.
  • Users surveyed, on average, acted on health advice they had seen online approximately four times a year.
  • 59% have seen misinformation relating to health on TikTok.
  • 58% of young people on TikTok aged between 16-24, believed the misinformative health advice.
  • Instagram was identified as the most trusted platform, and Twitter the least trusted.
  • For more, please visit the MSN website.

WhatsApp and Meta make major change

  • WhatsApp and Meta are changing how they look after their users’ data.
  • Data on both platforms will be moved from being monitored by its companies in Ireland and Ireland’s authorities to the global bodies run in the US.
  • Both WhatsApp and Meta have stated that the changes will not impact how UK users’ data is treated or how their products work.
  • UK users will still be protected by the country’s privacy and data protection laws and the new rules will exchange references from EU regulations to UK ones instead.
  • Both platforms have also stated there will be no change to data sharing between WhatsApp and Meta.
  • These new changes will come into effect on 25 April 2023.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Independent’s website.

Researchers will get access to TikTok data

  • Following testing with subject experts, TikTok are providing US-based nonprofit universities access to its research API.
  • The platform’s API will enable researchers to access “public, anonymised” data, for example, user profiles and comments.
  • This is in an attempt to better understand TikTok trends and user activity.
  • Research proposals will need approval from TikTok’s US Data Security division.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Verge website.

Elon Musk suggests Twitter could open source its algorithm ‘next week’

  • A new tweet by Elon Musk has suggested that Twitter is preparing to open source its algorithm.
  • Musk has said “Prepare to be disappointed at first when our algorithm is made open source next week, but it will improve rapidly!”.
  • Open sourcing the algorithm could help stop criticism from lawmakers and regulators who wish to know exactly how the social platforms’ content recommendations work.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Tech Crunch website.