News – Online Safety

20/09/2021: ‘Get to Grips with Social Media’ training

This course is for Individuals and organisations who are already using social media to promote their enterprise but haven’t yet got to grips with how to use it effectively. It covers all the basics that you need to master, while considering what you want to be using social media for in the first place. It’s useful for beginners and intermediate users that want to go back to basics and be more strategic.


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.

Source: Internet Watch Foundation

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.

Source: 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.

Source: 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.

Source: South West Grid for Learning

18/07/2021: Why was my tweet about football labelled abusive?

Online hate has been in the headlines again recently due to an avalanche of racist posts directed at three players who missed penalties in England’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final. Warning: This article contains language that some may find offensive

Source: BBC

17/07/2021: Can social media stop abuse?

It was sadly predictable – defeat for England in the final of the Euros was followed by a wave of racial abuse on social media aimed at the footballers who had missed penalties.

Source: BBC

16/07/2021: Instagram admits moderation mistake over racist comments

Instagram has admitted a mistake in its technology meant racist comments and emojis were not removed. It comes after a flood of racist abuse was directed at England footballers Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho following the men’s Euro 2020 final.

Source: BBC

15/07/2021: What more can be done to stop racist abuse online?

Racist abuse directed at black England footballers has intensified calls for stronger action to stamp out hate online. Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were targeted after they missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final. The government has promised its Online Safety Bill will do more to force social media companies to act.

Source: BBC

15/07/2021: Why is it so difficult to stop abuse on social media?

Twitter has moved to stamp on racist abuse directed at black England players after the Euro 2020 final but in the face of widespread demand for social media platforms to act, is its approach enough? The abuse was also posted on Facebook and comes after players and clubs boycotted social media entirely in April in protest at a growing wave of discrimination aimed at people in football.

Source: Sky

11/07/2021: Can facial analysis technology create a child-safe internet?

Determining a person’s age online seems like an intractable problem. But new technology and laws could be on the brink of solving it

Source: Guardian

09/07/2021: Monitoring Apps – A Guide for Parents and Carers

Managing a young person’s device can be tough, especially when so many children are likely to have their own smartphones, tablets etc, from a young age. It may surprise us just how comfortable young people can be when using devices along with how easy they find accessing content on the internet, sometimes even better than ourselves!

Source: South West Grid for Learning

03/07/2021: Facebook tests extremist content warning messages

Facebook is testing a feature in the US that asks users if they are worried somebody they know is becoming an extremist. Other users may also receive an alert saying they may have been exposed to extremist content. The trial messages are part of Facebook’s Redirect Initiative which aims to combat extremism. The pop-ups redirect users to a support page.

Source: BBC

01/07/2021: High-profile women want action to stop online abuse

More than 200 high-profile women have signed an open letter asking for concrete action to tackle abuse on social media platforms. The letter – signed by women including former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, ex-US tennis player Billie Jean King and British actresses Thandiwe Newton and Emma Watson – has been published at the UN Generation Equality Forum. Ms Gillard told the BBC: “As prime minister of Australia, like other women in the public domain, I regularly received highly gendered and ugly social media, including the circulation of pornographic cartoons.”

Source: BBC

01/07/2021: TikTok removes more than seven million suspected under-age accounts

TikTok removed nearly 7.3 million accounts suspected to belong to under-age children in the first quarter of this year. The video-sharing platform said the profiles accounted for fewer than 1% of global users. Children aged 13 and over are allowed to use the platform, which is highly popular with teenagers. This is the first time TikTok has published such figures in a Community Guidelines Enforcement Report.

Source: BBC

01/07/2021: Social media: Norfolk Police chief issues child abuse warning

The outgoing Norfolk Chief Constable has urged shareholders to hold social media firms to account to protect children from online abuse. Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council child protection lead, said the abuse was “overwhelming”. Mr Bailey said it was becoming easier for offenders to go undetected online due to changes in message encryption.

Source: BBC

28/06/2021: Schoolboy set up far-right chat group and encouraged terrorist attacks, court hears

A 14-year-old schoolboy from Derbyshire set up a far-right chat group which encouraged fellow teenagers to launch terrorist attacks, a court has heard. The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, set up and managed the channel on messaging app Telegram. The channel was said to be of an extreme right-wing and “openly racist nature” and the youth boasted online that his criminal record would be cleared when he reached 18.

Source: Sky

25/06/2021: Why ransomware is such a risk to the education sector

During the pandemic, ransomware has become a huge worldwide problem, crippling national infrastructure, such as the Irish health service and a US oil pipeline and causing mass disruption for all sectors, including education. The situation is serious enough to warrant the creation of a global task force, including the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – one of the security agencies we have worked closely with to help deal with an unprecedented spike of ransomware attacks on tertiary providers.

Source: Times Education Supplement

23/06/2021: Twisted Toys campaign highlights dangers for children in digital playgrounds

Parents, advocates and lawmakers would be outraged if teddy bears tracked children’s sleep patterns, toys spewed racist vitriol, or walkie-talkies linked up children with sexual predators. But online, according to a new awareness campaign launching Wednesday, young people are constantly immersed in a digital playground designed without safety in mind, leaving them vulnerable to bullying, unwanted contact and exploitation.

Source: Guardian

23/06/2021: Report Harmful Content Release Annual Report 2021

Today (Wednesday 23rd June 2021) Report Harmful Content launched their annual report for 2021 Through These Walls, analysing data between January 2020 -December 2020. Although there appears to be a worrying rise in reported cases, it is apparent there is improved public understanding of identifying and relating incidents to official bodies.

Source: South West Grid for Learning