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January 4, 2024

Almost half of teenagers feel addicted to social media – study  

  • The early findings from a study being carried out at the University of Cambridge were described as “striking”, with researchers saying that some people’s relationship with social media could be “akin to a behavioural addiction.”
  • The team is analysing data from the Millennium Cohort Study, which is being carried out by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) at the University of London.
  • It is following the lives of more than 18,000 babies born in the UK from 2000 and 2001 to map the backgrounds of children born in the early 21st century.
  • Findings showed 48% of 7,022 people surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I think I am addicted to social media.”
  • This was higher for girls (57%) than boys (37%).
  • University of Cambridge graduate student Georgia Turner, who led the analysis, reported: “This is important not just for a philosophical discussion about addiction but in order to find appropriate interventions where needed. If addiction isn’t what’s causing someone’s problems, an addiction-based intervention may not help them.”
  • For more, please visit the Independent website.

Urgent need for terrorism AI laws, warns think tank 

  • The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) says there is a “clear need for legislation to keep up” with online terrorist threats.
  • This comes after the UK’s independent terror legislation reviewer, Jonathan Hall KC, was “recruited” by a chatbot in an experiment on – a website where people can have AI-generated conversations with chatbots created by other users.
  • Mr Hall reported that “it is hard to identify a person who could in law be responsible for chatbot-generated statements that encouraged terrorism.”
  • Character AI told the BBC that safety is a “top priority” and that what Mr Hall described was unfortunate and didn’t reflect the kind of platform the firm was trying to build.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Twitch attire policy update shuts down the viral topless meta 

  • Twitch is banning the “topless meta” and other implied nudity streams with another update to its attire policy.
  • Streamers on the site are no longer permitted to “imply or suggest that they are fully or partially nude,” and may not show a visible outline of their genitals, even if they are covered.
  • This update is in response to the increase of streams known as topless or “black bar” meta, where streamers appear naked by using framing or black censor bars to cover their breasts and genitals.
  • Twitch’s Chief Customer Trust Officer Angela Hession reported: “For many users, the thumbnails of this content can be disruptive to their experience on Twitch.”
  • The company is also working on features to allow streamers to blur thumbnails for content tagged for Sexual Themes, and settings to allow viewers to filter content labelled with mature tags including sexual themes, tobacco or alcohol use, violence or explicit language.
  • For more, please visit Tech Crunch website.

The following story may be regionalised:

‘We had to investigate our autistic son’s death’ 

  • The parents of an autistic teenager who died from an accidental overdose say they had to investigate his death themselves to find out what killed him.
  • Their son, 19, had mistakenly taken a strong synthetic opioid he bought on the dark web.
  • His family had to wait three years for his inquest and say a vital piece of evidence was not tested until they raised it with the coroner’s court a year later.
  • Cheshire Police said it is not “common practice” to test all drugs found at the scene of sudden deaths.
  • Coroner Victoria Davies agreed with the evidence gathered by his family, that the blue pills were metonitazene and that he had bought them believing them to be oxycodone.
  • Cheshire East Council said it supported the coroner’s findings and it remains “committed to providing the highest standards of care” and will continue to “identify opportunities to improve services.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Assaults at school lead to big rise in teacher compensation claims, union says 

  • Violence in schools have caused compensation claims from teachers to be more than £220,000 in a year.
  • Figures from the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) showed a total of £541,499 was paid out to the union’s members in personal injury claims in 2023.
  • EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley has urged local authorities and the Scottish Government to take “urgent action” to ensure teachers can work without fear of assault or injury.
  • She continued: “No one deserves to suffer injury or assault in their workplace, which is why local authorities – as the employers of teachers – have a legal duty of care to ensure a safe working environment for all school staff.”
  • A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scotland’s schools should be safe learning environments for all – violence and abusive behaviour towards pupils or staff is completely unacceptable.”
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.