News 2021: 10 items (Technology)

23/09/2021: Extremists using video-game chats to spread hate

Extremists are using mainstream video games and gaming chat platforms to spread hate, BBC Click has found. Over three months, researchers found anti-Semitism, racism and homophobia on platforms, including DLive and Odysee, where users stream and chat about games such as Call of Duty and Minecraft. Campaigners say including extremist narratives among everyday conversations can be a pathway to radicalisation.

Read: BBC

21/09/2021: Twitch hate raids: Minority streamers have ‘a target on their back’

“I’ve been told to kill myself, called the T-slur for trans people, the F-slur for gay people and misgendered numerous times.” You might have seen hashtags like #DoBetterTwitch or #ADayOffTwitch trending over the past few weeks and months. It’s because of the flood of abuse that streamers, mainly from minority or marginalised communities are receiving on games streaming platform Twitch.

Read: BBC

20/09/2021: The Role Of The Internet In Radicalising Extremists

The MoJ has just (16 September 2021) published new research “Exploring the role of the Internet in radicalisation and offending of convicted extremists.” Authored by Jonathan Kenyon, Jens Binder and Christopher Baker-Beall, the aim of the study was to establish the role of the Internet in radicalisation processes and offending of those convicted of extremist offences in England and Wales by comparing radicalisation pathways across 3 groups: those who primarily radicalised online; those who primarily radicalised offline; and those radicalised through both online and offline influences.

18/09/2021: ‘I felt my body wasn’t good enough’: teenage troubles with Instagram

Internal research by Facebook that found its Instagram app worsens body image issues for young users has been leaked, revealing how aware the social media giant is of its product’s effect on mental health. According to leaked documents, research by the company over the last two years has consistently found that the photo-sharing platform is harmful to a large proportion of its users – particularly teenage girls.

Read: Guardian

15/09/2021: Online child abuse crimes have surged by three-quarters and more must be done to protect children online

While online abuse crimes have surged by 78% over the last four years, new Government plans to regulate social media through the Online Safety Bill fall significantly short of tackling this issue.


02/09/2021: UK children’s digital privacy UK children’s digital privacy code comes into effect

A sweeping set of regulations governing how online services should treat children’s data have been welcomed by campaigners as they come into effect. The Age Appropriate Design Code – which was written into law as part of the 2018 Data Protection Act, which also implemented GDPR in the UK – mandates websites and apps from Thursday to take the “best interests” of their child users into account, or face fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover.

Read: Guardian

02/09/2021: IWF welcomes new online safety rules but warns more still needs to be done to make sure children are safe online

New online safety rules are a welcome step, but more still needs to be done to make sure children are kept safe online, says the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The Age Appropriate Design Code, which comes into effect today (September 2), sets out 15 standards that online services need to follow. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says this ensures they are complying with their obligations under data protection law to protect children’s data online.

01/09/2021: FREE Online Safety Day Tickets Now Available

We are pleased to announce that SWGfL’s Online Safety Day has returned for 2021 and tickets are now available! This annual event powered by Facebook taking place on Wednesday 29th September 13:00 – 15:00pm brings together hundreds of professionals throughout the UK to hear about the current state of online safety for the new school year.

24/08/2021: Facebook ‘fuels child grooming’: Rise in offences is blamed on tech giant as it emerges online cases rocketed during Covid pandemic

Online grooming of children shot up during the pandemic with almost half of offences carried out via apps owned by Facebook, a major report said yesterday. The NSPCC said offences of sexual communication with a child recorded by police went up nearly 70 per cent between 2018 and 2021.

Read: Daily Mail

16/08/2021: Social media trains people to be morally outraged, Yale researchers find

A high number of ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ on social media posts incentivizes people to become morally outraged, Yale researchers have found. “Social media’s incentives are changing the tone of our political conversations online,” said Yale’s William Brady, a postdoctoral researcher in the Yale Department of Psychology who worked with associate professor of psychology Molly Crockett on the research.

Read: Independent

29/07/2021: Instagram Defaults Private Accounts for Young People

This week, Instagram have announced some new changes into how young people’s social media accounts can be managed in order to detract from unwanted followers and messages from strangers. This has been in response to ensuring that the platform is doing what they can to keep children and young people safe online whilst allowing them to continue to experience the benefits of social media.

28/07/2021: Campaigners push to stop this being ‘the summer of online sexual abuse’ against children

Campaigners are warning teenagers and their parents about online grooming and sexual exploitation as schools break up for the summer. Campaigners are warning teens about online grooming and sexual abuse during the school summer holidays as a former top police child protection expert says the problem has “escalated” in recent years. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), with support from tech companies including Microsoft, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, is reaching out to teenagers to empower them to stand up to online grooming and child sexual abuse.

27/07/2021: Instagram makes under-16s’ accounts private by default

Instagram has made new under-16s’ accounts private by default so only approved followers can see posts and “like” or comment. Tests showed only one in five opted for a public account when the private setting was the default, it said.

Read: BBC

23/07/2021: Parents’ fears over sexting and abuse among teenagers

A vivid picture of sexual assaults and harassment in teenagers’ lives has been laid bare in recent months but parents rarely speak about the emotional turmoil they face. Here, two of them tell their stories.

Read: BBC

21/07/2021: Law Commission Publishes Recommendations to Tackle Online Abuse

Today, the law commission has published new recommendations to address harm online through protecting victims of online abuse as well as aiming to protect freedom of expression. These new recommendations have been put forward as a result of previous laws that govern online abuse being ineffective against common types of harm online, often over criminalising certain situations and under criminalising others whilst relying on ‘vague’ terms to determine the severity of the situation.