Social media firms won’t prioritise child safety until Ofcom is given the teeth to make them, warns NSPCC 

    • Inews reports that the NSPCC have accused social media companies of doing the bare minimum to protect children using their platforms, urging the Government to give regulator Ofcom “the teeth it needs” to force tech companies to prioritise child safety 
    • Andy Burrows, Head of Child Safety Online for the NSPCC, that that social media’s failure to get to grips with child safety had not resulted in major repercussions for the key players, except for the huge degree of concern raised in the wake of Molly Russell’s death 
    • Molly Russell, 14, took her own life in November 2017 after viewing self-harm and suicide content on Instagram 
    • For the full story, select here 



      Facebook research reportedly finds small number of users responsible for spreading vaccine doubt 

        • The Washington Post has reported that Facebook research into “vaccine-hesitant” beliefs has found that a small group of users is driving many of the discussions that may sow doubt or discouragement about taking a vaccine 
        • The research explores how to address that tension by studying these types of comments, which are tagged “VH” by the company’s software algorithms, as well as the nature of the communities that spread them 
        • The report’s early findings suggest that a large amount of content that does not break the rules may be causing harm in certain communities, where it has an echo chamber effect 
        • Facebook banned false and misleading ads about vaccines back in October, weeks before the first coronavirus vaccines were even available 
        • In December, Facebook announced it would remove false claims about COVID-19 vaccines, and began notifying users if they had interacted with a post that had false information, whilst also taking steps to promote authoritative information about COVID-19 vaccines 
        • For the full story, select here 


        New alleged victim of Walsall grooming gang claims police failed her too 

        • The Birmingham Mail reports that an alleged new victim of a Walsall grooming gang claims police failed her – and told her mum she was prostituting herself 
        • Karen (not her real name), told how she was first raped aged just 12 by a man after being lured to a flat in Birchills under false pretences 
        • She claims that after police accused her of lying about the 2010 attack she fell into the clutches of another local abuser who passed her between his friends 
        • A police report in 2012 confirmed a grooming gang was operating in an area of Walsall  
        • For the full story, select here 

        Competition watchdog investigates children’s social care sector 

          • The BBC reports that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a study of children’s social care across Britain 
          • It will consider low availability and rising costs in children’s homes and fostering, as well as concerns about private providers 
          • CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli said it was a unique market and the overriding priority was to identify ways children can get better care 
          • The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care welcomed the inquiry 
          • For the full story, select here