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May 18, 2023

Internet users encouraging self-harm to face five years in jail under new plans

  • Under new Government plans, internet users who encourage self-harm could face jail for up to five years.
  • The addition to the Online Safety Bill will build on existing laws which make it illegal to promote or assist suicide.
  • These measures seek to deter “cowardly trolls” who post such content online with the prospect of being prosecuted.
  • To pass as an offence, posts do not need to target specific individuals or groups.
  • According to the Ministry of Justice, general encouragement of self-harm, starving or not taking prescribed medication will be covered by the law.
  • For more please visit the National’s website.

Meta provides new insights into content removal and government requests

  • Meta has published its latest Transparency and Community Standards Enforcement Reports.
  • Meta’s Transparency Report covers the second half of 2022, whilst its Community Standards update is for the first quarter of 2023.
  • The platform saw a rise in removals of nudity and sexual content. It claims that this was due to an increase in spammers sharing large volumes of offensive videos on Facebook.
  • Meta have reported an increased rate of proactive detection of bullying and harassment.
  • Instagram have also taken more action on depictions of drug use in the app.
  • During the second half of 2022, Government requests for user data increased slightly from 237,414 to 239,388.
  • For more, please visit the Social Media Today website.

Third of under 18’s exposed to online vape promotions as schools take up airport style security

  • Schools across the UK are installing vape detection units in toilets and using airport style security wands to detect the devices students are hiding.
  • The units use lasers to measure air quality which alert teachers when an alarm goes off.
  • A recent trend has seen students uploading videos onto TikTok of them vaping and tagging their school’s name in the clips.
  • Despite students being underage schools have struggled to get the videos taken down.
  • Some schools believe social media is normalising e-cigarette usage and resulting in students who would not usually try nicotine products using vapes.
  • Advertising Standards Authority rules state people under 25 must not appear in adverts promoting vaping but many young influencers post sponsored clips of e-cigarette usage on TikTok.
  • A loophole in the law means that producers can send free samples to children under 18 so long as they do not make them pay.
  • For more on this story, please visit the ITV News website.

The following story is relevant to England only. 

Government expands ‘attendance hubs’ programme to get more pupils into schools

  • The Government will be expanding their “attendance hubs” programme in England, in order to get more children back into school after the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Department for Education (DfE) has announced nine new attendance hubs to support up to 600 schools.
  • Methods to keep pupils in school shared by the attendance hubs include using school trips, breakfast clubs and other extracurricular activities like sports clubs to incentivise good attendance.
  • Schools could also be advised to send text messages to parents when pupils do not attend class.
  • For the full story, please go to the Yahoo website.