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October 11, 2023

Utah sues TikTok for getting children ‘addicted’ to its algorithm

  • Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection (UDCP) is suing TikTok over allegations that it misrepresents itself as independent of China and its algorithm being harmful to children.
  • The state’s lawsuit is the latest in an array of bans and legal action from US-based governments.
  • Utah Governor Spencer Cox accused the company of “misleading parents that its app is safe for children”.
  • Beyond TikTok, Utah also passed a law this year requiring parents to consent before their children can use social media.
  • For more, please visit the Verge website.

New report shows the rise of child sexual abuse content and online risks to children

  • According to the NSPCC, mental and emotional health and wellbeing was the top reason children contacted Childline in 2022-23. 
  • The NSPCC are calling on the government to commit to funding and delivering mental health support teams across schools and colleges in order to reach those needing help. 
  • The Department for Health and Social Care has promised to invest an additional £2.3 billion a year into mental health services by 2024. 
  • Dr Lade Smith, president of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, reported: “The public mental health emergency is real. It is having a devastating effect on the lives of thousands of people, particularly children and young people.” 
  • For further support, Childline can be contacted via or calling 0800 11 11. 
  • For more, please visit the ITV News website.

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Review finds safeguarding failures over Sussex killing of man by 14-year-old girl

  • An inquiry into the circumstances leading to the manslaughter of a 24-year-old man by a 14-year-old girl has found “a failure of the system as a whole” to protect her and her victim. 
  • The report found that Child A suffered “significant and horrific trauma and abuse” and argues she is “more than a perpetrator of a terrible crime”. 
  • The child safeguarding practice review by Birmingham and West Sussex authorities found that the systems put in place to help the child throughout her troubled life had had “no effect at all”. 
  • Penny Thompson, independent chair of the Birmingham safeguarding children partnership, and Chris Robson, independent chair of the West Sussex safeguarding partnership reported that the services involved with the family did not fully understand her lived experience and impact of childhood trauma. 
  • They continued: “professionals did not gain a sound understanding of safeguarding risks and effective mitigations or interventions, which would have resulted in an enduring positive impact for this child and her family.” 
  • For more, please visit The Guardian website.