Thursday 15th July 

Children as young as 13 are being recruited by far-right extremists, says MI5 director-general

  • Children as young as 13 are being recruited by far-right extremists who continue to pose a long term and growing threat, according to the head of the UK’s domestic intelligence service MI5 
  • Although Islamist related terrorism remains the predominant threat, MI5 director-general Ken McCallum said the threat from right-wing groups had “grown and morphed quite substantially over the last five to ten years” 
  • MI5 assumed the lead responsibility for countering extreme right-wing terrorism last year 
  • In his annual security speech at MI5 headquarters in central London, Ken McCallum said the far-right threat was “sadly here to stay”
  • For the full story, click here

Facebook adds ‘expert’ feature to groups 

  • Facebook is rolling out a way to designate topic “experts” inside user-run Facebook groups 
  • The social network says the new feature is designed to help real experts “stand out” in discussions about their field of expertise 
  • Group admins will have the power to give the title to nearly any member they want 
  • That could mean that groups promoting conspiracy theories or fringe views may also be able to designate “experts”
  • For the full story, click here

Twitter to axe ‘Fleets’ feature just months after launch 

  • Twitter is set to kill off its divisive Fleets feature just months after it launched to complaints and mixed reviews 
  • The social media giant had followed in the footsteps of Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook in November when it added the option for users to post disappearing messages 
  • However, while Instagram’s popular Stories feature has proved lucrative, Fleets drew a decidedly negative response from the site’s userbase, who complained about the messages being superimposed at the top of their feeds
  • For the full story, click here

Clubhouse launches first text-based feature 

  • Clubhouse has launched its much-anticipated direct messaging feature 
  • The new feature is called ‘Backchannel’ and aims to give users a requested way to start conversations behind the scenes of the social audio app 
  • Backchannel offers both one-on-one messaging as well as group chat and generally adds quite a bit of utility into the voice-only social network 
  • Speakers can organize in advance or coordinate live through messaging while running a room as well as accept text-based questions, which some listeners may be more comfortable with
  • For the full story, please click here

50,000 children could be ‘forgotten’ over the summer in new guidance for vulnerable people, JCVI members warn

  • Scientists have warned that more than 50,000 children could be “forgotten” over the summer, after the Government announced fresh restrictions for the clinically vulnerable while easing Covid measures for the rest of the country 
  • Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson updated guidance for the 3.8 million people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) in England, as he warned them to take extra measures “when Covid-19 disease levels in the general community are high 
  • While the updated guidance stopped short of telling CEV people to return to shielding, it recommended that they avoid the unvaccinated and meet others outside from next Monday
  • For the full story, click here