Reading Time: 5.5 mins

September 1, 2023

New clustering tech ‘revolution’ helps analysts assess child sexual abuse imagery in seconds

  • The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is now using ‘Clustering’ technology in order to help analysts assess multiple child sexual abuse images in seconds.
  • The IWF is the UK organisation responsible for finding, disrupting, and taking down child sexual abuse imagery from the internet.
  • Clustering technology works by linking similar images together, meaning teams can quickly assess and grade hundreds of criminal images and make quickfire decisions to get them blocked or removed.
  • The IWF have stated that assessments based on clusters can be 112% faster than assessing individual images.
  • The breakthrough was funded by Nominet which has funded the IWF’s work since 2018.
  • For more, please visit the IWF’s website.

TikTok outlines enhanced transparency measures in compliance with EU DSA Regulations

  • TikTok has outlined various steps its taking to meet the updated Digital Services Act (DSA) regulations.
  • The EU DSA, which comes into effect soon, was created to ensure that user rights are better protected, particularly in relation to the use of personal data.
  • TikTok has now launched a new EU Online Safety Hub, which will provide a full overview of TikTok’s DSA compliance elements and reporting on each.
  • The Hub will provide access to all of TikTok’s reporting and transparency measures, including information into how its algorithms work, its content moderation processes, information on ad targeting and more.
  • Rather than seeing content based on their interests, which may not be aligned with age-appropriate options, users who turn off personalisation will see content that is suitable for their age range and based on their country of residence.
  • TikTok is also adding a new illegal content reporting option in-app which will enable people to report content they believe to be in violation to EU rules.
  • For more, please visit the Social Media Today’s website.

Disadvantaged teenagers at greater risk of falling victim to email scams

  • Researchers from University College London (UCL) have found that pupils need higher quality instruction about online risks they face.
  • This was particularly so for those from poorer backgrounds and those of lower academic achievements.
  • Data for the international study was based on more than 176,000 children across 38 countries.
  • Around one in seven (14%) 15-year-olds are at risk of responding to a phishing email.
  • This risk rises to a fifth among those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Young people who also have weaker cognitive skills are most at risk of falling victim to phishing emails.
  • A Home Office spokesman has said that the Government are “committed to cracking down on scams” and will “continue to work intensively with partners to protect young people, and the wider public, from fraud.”
  • For more, please visit the Independent’s website.

The following stories may be regionalised:

Police warning after children recruited as money mules through social media and gaming platforms

  • Criminals are using Snapchat, Instagram and gaming platforms to target young teenagers and threaten, intimidate and manipulate them into becoming a money mule.
  • Criminals not wishing to use their own bank account for their illegal monetary gains will ask someone to receive money into their own personal account and then transfer that money into another account.
  • If this happens, money mules involved in money laundering are committing a criminal offence, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
  • Money laundering contributes to child and sex trafficking by supplying and distributing drugs, supporting modern day slavery, and protecting the criminals who carry out these acts.
  • NEROCU Detective Sergeant Paddy O’Keefe stated that when someone is caught, their bank account will be closed and they will have future problems with getting student loans, mortgages, mobile phone contracts and credit.
  • Signs that someone might be involved could be a sudden increase in extra cash, buying expensive clothes, having expensive mobile phones, and little explanation as to how they got the money.
  • They may also become more secretive, withdrawn or appear stressed.
  • If you are worried about someone who might be involved in money muling, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report to your local police.
  • For more, please visit the Chronicle Live website.

Girls aged three among victims of upskirting – teenager describes anger at school’s response

  • 1,150 upskirting crimes have been recorded in England and Wales since 2019, with 40% of victims being children, some as young as three years old.
  • One victim reported becoming suspicious when a boy in school put his bag on the floor with the camera facing upwards. The boy threw his coat on the floor and asked her to bend over and pick it up for him.
  • Her mother reported the incident to the school, who confiscated the boy’s phone and discovered the pictures taken underneath her skirt. The images were deleted but the boy was not suspended.
  • Her mother reported the incident to the police, and the boy was arrested and given a caution.
  • Since 2019, only 68 people have been convicted of upskirting, Ministry of Justice figures show.
  • Outcomes for other sexual offences are low too, with 2.1% of sexual offences in England and Wales resulting in a charge in 2022/23.
  • Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition has expressed her concerns and criticised the criminal justice system for its poor response to upskirting: “That’s where we are currently with the criminal justice system, which responds so poorly and charges and prosecutes so few cases of upskirting and other forms of violence against women.”
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.

Children in temporary accommodation invisible, expert warns amid record figures

  • Children experiencing homelessness are often “invisible” and “overlooked”.
  • The total number of children in temporary accommodation is at its highest level since records began almost two decades ago.
  • 131,370 children were in temporary accommodation as of the end of March 2023.
  • Dr Nadia Svirydzenka, a psychologist with specialist experience in child mental health, said she is troubled by the rise.
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists said some young people might need professional help due to the impacts of homelessness and accommodation moves.
  • Dame Rachel de Souza, The Children’s Commissioner for England, said the numbers were “completely unacceptable” and was “particularly worried about the number of children living in B&Bs for long periods of time”.
  • Her office was launching research “which will reveal other hidden groups of children not in appropriate accommodation”, focusing on 16 and 17-year-olds who appear as homeless and who are inappropriately treated as young adults only in need of a shelter, rather than care.
  • For more, please visit the Independent website.