Facebook encryption could prevent detection of child abuse 

  • Facebook’s plans to allow encrypted messaging across all its platforms could prevent the detection of up to 20 million child abuse images every year.
  • The director of threat leadership at the National Crime Agency (NCA), Rob Jones, expressed concerns over end-to-end encryption capabilities that could stop police officers from accessing information that could help rescue abused children.
  • This follows Facebook’s introduction of end-to-end encrypted Messenger voice calls and video calls to keep calls private.
  • Concerns remain about how encryption can delay the required fast and dynamic law enforcement response to online child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
  • A meeting of ministers from G7 countries will focus on internet safety and security, where home secretary, Priti Patel, will address her international campaign against encryption.
  • A fund dedicated to tackling CSAM will also be launched where experts will be invited to apply for government funding to show how platforms can be designed to lessen the risk of usage by child sex abusers.
  • Full story, here.

Pandemic and online pressures drive decline in girls’ happiness  

  • An annual survey conducted by Girlguiding on girls’ attitude reported that almost half of girls between 7 and 10-years-old have suffered online harm in the last year.
  • The survey involved 2,114 girls and young women aged between 7 to 21-years-old, polled between March and April 2021.
  • Disabled and LGBTQ+ girls were more likely to experience online harm with 40% of disabled 11- to 21-year-olds reporting abuse online.
  • Almost a fifth (18%) of girls said they had encountered ‘catfishing’ online, where someone pretends to be someone else and 11% have encountered ‘obscene’ pictures.
  • Girlguiding charity is warning against a fall in girls and young women’s happiness.
  • The survey highlighted issues with online pressure of unattainable perfection with 45% of 11- to 21-year-olds reporting seeing images that caused insecurities about their appearance.
  • Full story, here.

Twitter creates invite-only Communities  

  • Twitter is launching Communities. Similar to Facebook’s Groups and Reddit’s subreddit communities, users must be invited to join.
  • The initial batch of communities will include #AstroTwitter, #DogTwitter, #SkincareTwitter, and #SoleFood (a group for sneaker enthusiasts).
  • Once users join a Community, they can tweet directly to other members rather than just to their followers.
  • Only members of the same Community can like or reply to tweets.
  • Each Community will have its own moderators who will be able to set rules and invite and remove users, like in subreddits.
  • Twitter Communities are invite-only for now, with only a handful of users but Twitter plans to let anyone create Communities on Twitter web.
  • Full story, here.

Google adds calls to the Gmail app  

  • Google is adding the ability to “ring” another Google user with Google Meet in the newest update to Workspaces.
  • This update is part of Google’s redesign plans for Gmail and joins the Chat, Spaces (a Slack-like product that adds support for ‘threaded’ messages and group chats) and Meet tabs.
  • Calls will take place inside the Gmail app with the same feature coming later to the standalone Google Meet app.
  • When calls become available, users will be ‘called’ through Gmail like any other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps like WhatsApp or Messenger, in addition to being able to join Google Meet meetings.
  • Full story, here.