Internet Usage Surges to New Highs During Lockdown
- Ofcom have released their Online Nation report, which shows internet usage surging in the UK.
- The report found that during April, adults spent an average of four hours a day online, up from three-and-a-half in September 2019. Seven in 10 people made video calls at least once a week during lockdown, with millions turning to Zoom for the first time.
- Users have increased on a multitude of platforms including Twitch, which saw an increase from 2.3 million in January to 4.2 million in April. TikTok reached 12.9 million UK visitors in April, up from 5.4 million in January.
Ofcom Plan to Impose Fines on Social Media Companies
- The new Chief executive of Ofcom, Dame Melanie Dawes has said the watchdog will not hesitate to impose fines on social media firms who fail to deal with harmful content. The watchdog would also consider temporarily suspending platforms in extreme cases of harm.
- Dame Melanie was responding to questions from MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
- The government is expected to give the role of overseeing content on social media to Ofcom
TikTok Signs Up With EU to Fight Disinformation
- TikTok has signed up to the European Union’s Code of Practice on Disinformation, agreeing to help address the spread of online disinformation and fake news.
- The EDiMA trade association’s Director General, Siada El Ramly said “TikTok signing up to the Code of Practice on Disinformation is great news as it widens the breadth of online platforms stepping up the fight against disinformation online. It shows that the Code of Practice on Disinformation is an effective means to ensure that companies do more to effectively fight disinformation online”.
- A spokesperson for TikTok said “we’re proud and glad to sign up to the Code of Practice on Disinformation to play our part.”
- A report released in May by the European Commission highlighted the positive impact that the Code of Practice on Disinformation has had, saying that “it is highly relevant and it has produced positive results”.
Research Shows TikTok Widely Used by Children Under 13
- Research by media regulator Ofcom has found that half of British children aged eight to 15 are regularly using TikTok, making it one of the most popular social networks for under 18s, despite growing concerns over safety on the app.
- TikTok was the most downloaded app among children late last year, having seen its use among those aged under 18 surge by 500% over the course of 2019.
- Ofcom said the app was particularly popular among 10-12 year old girls, with 31,000 of them having downloaded the app during the final three months of 2019.
Apprenticeships Failing to Achieve Social Mobility for Young People
- The Social Mobility Commission has warned that the apprenticeship system is failing disadvantaged young people in England.
- The commission also says the Covid-19 pandemic will make things worse and will exacerbate youth unemployment.
- In a report, it highlights a 36% decline in people from disadvantaged backgrounds starting apprenticeships, compared with 23% for other groups.
- The Department for Education said it was “absolutely committed to levelling up opportunities across the country”.
- Lead report author, Alice Battiston from London Economics said: “There is a severe disadvantage gap throughout the entire apprenticeship training journey, and this has worsened over time”.