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September 11, 2023

TikTok announces new quarterly safety update, in line with EU requirements

  • In line with the new EU Digital Services Act (DSA), TikTok has announced that it will begin providing regular reports on its most recent attempts to improve user safety.
  • TikTok’s new quarterly EU Safety report will include a summary of all the steps the platform has taken over the last 3 months to address safety concerns and its evolving areas of focus.
  • The first report can be found here.
  • For more, please visit the Social Media Today website.

Roblox is coming to PS4 and PS5

  • Children’s gaming platform Roblox has announced its plans to launch on Sony’s PlayStation consoles in October this year.
  • According to the firm, Roblox has over 60 million players a day.
  • The platform has frequently come under fire for poor moderation of its content.
  • Its popularity seemingly stems from the ability for players to create their own games, with children being ‘developers’.
  • In 2022 the NSPCC and Childline told the BBC that since the pandemic, the number of children calling their helpline with concerns regarding Roblox had increased five-fold.
  • Roblox has also announced ‘Connect’, a system that will allow people to call people in the game using their real names, body language and facial expressions.
  • Roblox announced in a blog post that it was available to players aged 13 and above, although it is unclear in which countries Connect will launch presently.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

The following stories may be regionalised:

National alert system could highlight new methods of suicide to schools and universities

  • Ministers have pledged to bring down suicide rates in England within two and a half years. 
  • According to a new government document, a national alert system could be implemented to highlight new methods of suicide to schools, universities and charities.  
  • Teaching suicide prevention in schools and better support for middle-aged men could also form part of plans to decrease suicide rates in England.  
  • Medical experts are also going to review whether reducing the number of paracetamol people can buy in shops could help bring down suicide rates.  
  • Half of schools in England are to have mental health support teams in place by April 2025. 
  • The Department for Education will also offer all state schools and colleges funding to train a senior mental health lead by 2025. 
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.  

Schools in North of England losing hundreds of pounds per pupil compared to London

  • Funding for Northern schools has lagged behind the rest of the UK over the past decade while regional inequalities have risen since the pandemic.
  • The education and health inequity report found children in the North of England are more likely to miss school than their Southern counterparts, often due to illness.
  • A report prepared for the Child of the North-All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) says that children born into the ‘least wealthy fifth of families in the UK are almost 13 times more likely to experience poor health and educational outcomes by the age of 17.’
  • Their members called for ‘urgent action’ to be taken to address the identified issues.
  • The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, stated that “No child’s chances in life should be curtailed by their postcode”.
  • A Department for Education spokesperson also reported that they are investing in 55 Education Investment Areas, half of which are located in the north to “drive school improvement and improve pupil outcomes.”
  • For more, please visit the ITVX News website.