Netflix to add trusted BBFC-certified UK age ratings  

  • Netflix has partnered with the British Board of Film Classification to include trusted UK age ratings and guidance on an entire catalogue of material following a successful pilot.
  • Content on Netflix now carries age ratings and guidance so that families can choose material to watch that reflects BBFC standards without needing to rely on generic warnings.
  • This new addition builds on the existing range of parental controls on Netflix, including PIN-protected profiles, maturity filters, profile locks and viewing history.
  • The change has been welcomed by children’s charities, like Childnet, and reflects the needs of parents in previous BBFC research for ratings that reflect UK classification standards and that lessen the potential for children to access inappropriate content.
  • Full story, here.

 Twitter is testing an official ‘soft block’ feature 

  • Twitter has begun testing the first of its proposed suite of new privacy tools in the form of a ‘soft block feature’ that allows a user to remove a follower without blocking them.
  • This feature is currently being tested on the web and allows users to remove followers from the follower list on their profile page by clicking the three-dot menu next to a follower’s name.
  • Removing a follower means that the user’s tweets will no longer show up on the follower’s timeline.
  • The ‘soft block’ means that removed followers must manually re-follow a user to be able to access tweets or request a follow if the account is set to ‘protected’.
  • Twitter is also reportedly considering adding an Instagram-like “Close Friends” option where only accounts added to a special list can see certain tweets, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
  • Full story, here.

Signal adds payments feature with privacy-focused cryptocurrency 

  • Signal, the encrypted messaging app, is integrating support for MobileCoin, a form of digital currency designed to work on mobile devices and protect user privacy and anonymity.
  • This comes as an attempt to compete with payment options offered by competitors like WhatsApp and iMessage, but without linking to a user’s bank account.
  • For now, the feature is only available on iOS and Android for users in the UK, but Signal shows plans to extend privacy-focused cryptocurrency to users globally.
  • MobileCoin was chosen over more popular cryptocurrencies like BitCoin and Monero due to its seamless user experience on mobile devices, small UK user base for testing, its need for little storage space and its fast transaction capabilities.
  • Full story, here.

Schools in England forced to cut support for pupils with special needs 

  • A survey by the National Association of Head Teachers has found that a third of headteachers had to slash their budgets last year due to insufficient funding for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • The survey collated responses from 1,500 headteachers in England and found that 97% reported that funding for pupils with SEND is insufficient.
  • A third of responses claim that further cuts are expected to happen this academic year.
  • The headteachers reported that these cuts have resulted in cuts to staff positions, salaries and to mental health and wellbeing support for pupils.
  • The lack of funding has resulted in headteachers balancing the needs of pupils against each other to determine how much support is required and this has become increasingly more difficult.
  • This follows a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies showing that school budgets have dropped 9% for the 2022-23 academic year and that disadvantaged areas suffer the biggest cuts in funding.
  • Full story, here.