Misleading vaccine claims target children and parents

  • Campaigners have been gathering outside schools and handing out what they claim are legal documents or “notices of liability” to head teachers.
  • This follows reports of anti-vaccination protests outside schools targeting children and threats to headteachers following the announcement of the vaccine programme for 12- to 15-year-olds.
  • The documents issued by campaigners warn teachers and parents against vaccinating children against COVID-19.
  • A fake NHS-issued consent letter was sent to schools in England, stating exaggerated rates of risk of death following the vaccine administration among and false claims about its effectiveness.
  • Full story, here.


FCA to warn younger investors off cryptocurrencies and high-risk products

  • Social media hype and the gambling-like thrill of competing are driving younger investors to high-risk investments.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warns young investors against these high-risk investments.
  • These high-risk products include cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, foreign exchange trading and investment-based crowdfunding.
  • The FCA warning follows the popularity of cryptocurrencies, stock-market trading linked to “meme stocks” like GameStop and the popularity of subreddit r/WallStreetBets.
  • Three-quarters of investors aged 18 to 40 reported feeling a “sense of competitiveness” when investing and two-thirds (68%) likening investing to gambling.
  • The FCA previously reported that young investors are swayed by financial and investment influencers on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.
  • Full story, here.

UK immigration policy increases risks to trafficking victims

  • A new report on trafficking in the UK has warned that Brexit and the Home Office’s new plans for immigration are increasing the risks to trafficking victims.
  • The report found links between terrorism and trafficking in cases involving families from the UK ending up with the Islamic State in Syria.
  • An increase in the recruitment of trafficking victims via social media was also identified.
  • The number of possible victims of trafficking referred to the UK’s National Referral Mechanism (NRM) has increased from 1,182 in 2012 to 10,627 in 2019.
  • The number of referrals in 2020 was 10,613.
  • The proportion of male victims referred to the NRM has increased and there has been a significant rise in the number of children referred.
  • Most child referrals were from the UK and involved county lines gangs.
  • Full report, here.

Pornhub owner settles with ‘Girls Do Porn’ victims

  • Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, has settled a lawsuit brought by 50 women who alleged they were victims of a sex-trafficking operation.
  • 50 women said that ‘Girls Do Porn’, an adult content provider, coerced them into having sex on camera and lied about how the material would be shared.
  • Pornhub was sued over allegedly knowing about the allegations against the provider but proceeded with the partnership.
  • ‘Girls Do Porn’ operated by advertising modelling jobs, but young women were later told that the work involved making pornographic videos.
  • The women were assured that the job would be anonymous and would not be posted online but the videos were later distributed on public websites like Pornhub.
  • This follows the suspension of user-uploaded content by Pornhub over allegations involving child abuse material and rape-related videos.
  • Full story, here.