Facebook Oversight Board makes first rulings

  • Facebook’s Oversight Board has made its first rulings about content, deciding that four out of five of the removed posts referred to it have to be restored
  • The board was set up to hear appeals from users about content they felt had been unfairly taken down – as well as cases referred by Facebook itself
  • The five posts covered a range of issues, including hate speech, nudity, misinformation and violence
  • The takedown the panel upheld was for a “demeaning slur” against Azerbaijanis
  • This post had been correctly removed for using a term of disdain “meant to dehumanise” the Azerbaijani people, the board ruled
  • For the full story, select here

Facebook plans to reduce amount of political content

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the social media company will be reducing the amount of political content on its platform, saying  there were numerous groups that he did not want on the social media platform
  • Although political groups and discussions will still continue on the platform, “one of the top pieces of feedback that we are hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services”, Zuckerberg added
  • Following the events of 6 January, when violent protesters stormed the Capitol Building, Facebook had received criticism from multiple politicians and groups for denying the social media company’s role in platforming the rioters
  • For the full story, select here

DfE laptops don’t work, say 1 in 5 heads

  • Nearly a fifth of headteachers have had laptops provided to their pupils by the government that have not worked as required, according to a survey conducted by Tes
  • Headteachers reported that they’d had to wait weeks for help with the laptops supplied by the Department for Education. Some of which had to be rebuilt in school weren’t set up properly or came without a charger
  • Many said the devices were slow to use or locked and several complained of “poor quality”
  • Of the 417 Heads who responded to the question: “Of the laptops that have arrived, have they all worked as required?”, nearly a fifth (18 per cent) said “no”
  • For the full story, select here

Primary school students should be allowed to repeat year 

  • Pupils in England who have lost out on significant learning time due to the pandemic should be allowed to repeat a year, say education policy experts
  • Certain pupils should get the right to repeat a year of school, if their parents or carers agree, suggests the Education Policy Institute (EPI)
  • Head teachers expressed interest in the idea but said it could only be open to “small numbers” to avoid a “logjam”
  • It comes after the prime minister said schools will not reopen before 8 March
  • For the full story, select here

Some primary schools may open in Wales 

  • Some primary pupils in Wales could return to classrooms after the February half-term as long as the Covid infection rate continues to fall, the Welsh Government has revealed, in contrast to English plans for no return until at least 8 March
  • As expected, the lockdown in Wales, which began before Christmas, will stay in place for at least another three weeks – until 19 February
  • However,  a “phased and flexible” return to school for some pupils is being planned for the week beginning 22 February
  • The government said that although rates of coronavirus across Wales had fallen below 200 cases per 100,000 people for the first time since early November, the lockdown needed to stay to give the NHS more time to recover