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June 19, 2023

Online Safety Bill: changes urged to allow access to social media data

  • The government is being urged to adopt amendments to the Online Safety Bill, to enable researchers to access platform data to monitor harmful behaviour.
  • Access to this data would be overseen by communications watchdog Ofcom and would protect user privacy.
  • Other amendments put forward include strengthening age-checking, and Ofcom providing a code of practice on preventing violence against women and girls.
  • These amendments are supported by groups including the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), the NSPCC and the Molly Rose Foundation.
  • In an open letter to the government, the groups said the Bill was in “serious peril” of passing without making social media platforms transparent.
  • For more, please visit the Guardian’s website.

Meta says it’s totally fine for 10-year-olds to wear its VR headset, probably

  • In a recent blog post, Meta have announced it will permit users as young as 10 to use its Meta Quest 2 and 3 VR headsets with parental consent.
  • These will take the form of parent-managed accounts.
  • Parents will be able to control which apps their young person uses and set time limits.
  • In terms of data collection, Meta have said it will use the information they collect to “deliver an age-appropriate experience”.
  • Parents will be able to choose whether their child’s data is used and delete their child’s account, including all data associated with it, should they decide.
  • Meta provides a document mentioning the potential hazards of VR, including the potential erosion or delay of a child’s “reality distinctions”.
  • For more, please visit the Tech Crunch website.

The following stories may be regionalised. 

Schools to tell parents if pupils question gender in guidance this week

  • According to a report, under new Government guidance to be published this week, teachers will be required to disclose the information even when pupils object.
  • Currently, schools are making their own decisions, such as introducing gender-neutral toilets or changing rooms.
  • A Government source reported, “the guidance will be crystal clear on all fronts.”
  • Labour former minister Ben Bradshaw argued that instructing schools to “out pupils to their families would be totally outrageous”.
  • The NSPCC advises that you should not disclose someone’s gender identity of sexuality against their will, except in exceptional circumstances around safeguarding.
  • However, Education Minister Nick Gibb, stated that “it is crucial that schools work to ensure that parents are involved in decisions about their children.”
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo! Sports website.

Met Police ‘rape culture’ in schools probe ends with no charges brought

  • Campaigners call for “rape culture” in schools to be taken more seriously, after police investigations from the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ movement resulted in no criminal charges.
  • Children and young people shared 50,000 testimonies of alleged rape, sexual assault, and harassment on a website which sparked the #MeToo movement in schools.
  • Metropolitan Police data showed “no person has been charged with an offence” under the Everyone’s Invited flag.
  • It prompted an Ofsted inquiry that reported sexual harassment had become “normalised” amongst school children.
  • Peter Csemiczky, a partner at Hickman and Rose solicitors has said, “the lack of criminal charges related to allegations made on the Everyone’s Invited website illustrates the gap between hope and reality when it comes to prosecuting sexual crime.”.
  • A spokesperson from Everyone’s Invited, reported that “By accepting that rape culture exists and talking about it, we hope that everyone will take responsibility to change their behaviour and help eradicate it.”.
  • For more, please visit the MSN website.