Your regular in-app roundup of current digital safeguarding news.
Daily Safeguarding Update
County lines gang ‘recruited teen in 80 minutes via Snapchat’
Speaking with the BBC, a teenager has told how he was groomed by criminals to sell heroin and crack cocaine after being recruited through an advert posted on Snapchat.
Two years ago, aged 14 and wanting to leave home, he responded to a message offering cash-in-hand work and accommodation, on the social media app.
Within 80 minutes, a gang collected him and drove him elsewhere to sell drugs.
The teenager, who said he spotted the advert on another person’s Snapchat story, said: “It was from a simple text to be honest with you…. Within an hour and 20 minutes of me texting them, they was already here.”
To learn more about child criminal exploitation and County Lines, select here.
Facebook tests video speed dating events with ‘Sparked’
Facebook confirmed it’s testing a video speed-dating app called Sparked, after the app’s website was spotted by The Verge.
Unlike dating app giants such as Tinder, Sparked users don’t swipe on people they like or direct message others.
Instead, they cycle through a series of short video dates during an event to make connections with others. The product itself is being developed by Facebook’s internal R&D group, but had not been officially announced.
“Sparked is an early experiment by New Product Experimentation,” a spokesperson for Facebook’s NPE Team confirmed to TechCrunch. “We’re exploring how video-first speed dating can help people find love online.”
YouTuber Jake Paul has been accused of sexual assault by a fellow social media creator.
Justine Paradise, a TikTok user with more than 500,000 followers on the platform, shared the allegations in a recent YouTube video.
She alleges that Paul assaulted her in July 2019 at the Team 10 house, his former mansion in Calabasas, California, which Paul later decided to sell.
On Tuesday, Paul denied the claims via a statement from his attorney Daniel E Gardenswartz, who told TMZ: “Our client categorically denies the allegation and has every intention of aggressively disproving it and pursuing legal action against those responsible for the defamation of his character.”