YouTube Makes Moves to Purge Platform of Harmful Conspiracy Theories

  • YouTube has become the latest social media giant to announce a sweeping crack down on content linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory
  • The company said it would ban material targeting a person or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify violence, such as QAnon
  • Twitter and Facebook have already taken similar steps to root out QAnon
  • The QAnon movement alleges US President Donald Trump is battling a cabal of elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles
  • The FBI last year issued a warning about “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” and designated QAnon a potential domestic extremist threat

Major Outages Affect Twitter Users Worldwide

  • Twitter has experienced a major outage with users across the world affected
  • The social media giant said the issue was caused by an “inadvertent change” it made to its internal systems
  • People in countries including the US and UK were unable to use the platform for more than an hour, with many receiving error messages
  • It said users from around the world – including Japan, Australia, Argentina and France had reported being unable to use the platform
  • Users were sent error messages including “something went wrong” and “Tweet failed: There’s something wrong. Please try again later.”
  • Twitter said there was no evidence of a security breach or hack

Marcus Rashford Vows to Continue Fight After Government Reject Free School Meals Plea

  • Marcus Rashford has vowed not to give in after Downing Street rejected his call for less well-off children to be provided with free meals during school holidays
  • A spokesperson for Boris Johnson indicated that ministers would not support giving pupils food during breaks including Easter and Christmas
  • Rashford, who forced the government into a U-turn on providing free school meal vouchers over the summer, tweeted: “Merry Christmas, kids … This is not going away any time soon and neither am I.”
  • A spokesman for the Prime Minister said on Thursday: “We took that decision to extend free school meals during the pandemic when schools were partially closed during lockdown…it’s not for schools to regularly provide food to pupils during the school holidays. We believe the best way to support families outside of term time is through universal credit rather than government subsidising meals.”

Survey finds Large Inequalities in Children Spending Time Outside During Pandemic

  • Natural England’s ‘People and Nature Survey (children)’, released this week, has revealed clear inequalities for children engaging with nature.
  • 71% of children from ethnic minority backgrounds reporting spending less time outside since coronavirus compared with 57% of white children
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of children from households with a total annual income below £17,000 spent less time outdoors, compared with 57% from households with an annual income above £17,000
  • The survey also reveals six in ten children reported they have spent less time outdoors since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with concern about catching or spreading coronavirus the biggest barrier stopping them going out more
  • Eight in ten children said that being in nature made them very happy, while 70% said that they want to spend more time outdoors with friends post-pandemic
  • Marian Spain, Chief Executive of Natural England, said ‘children are telling us just how important time in nature is to their happiness and this backs up a strong weight of scientific evidence showing how essential nature is to all of our physical health and our mental wellbeing’