Cyber-flashing likely to become a criminal offence

  • Ministers are working towards making cyber-flashing a criminal offence.
  • Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries reported that the unsolicited sending of obscene images will likely be in the scope of the upcoming Online Safety Bill.
  • Online platforms that fail in their duty of care of users would face criminal sanctions.
  • Cyber-flashing has been a criminal offence for over a decade in Scotland, but this has not extended to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
  • Platforms need to “change their behaviour now” to safeguard users.
  • Full story, here.


Instagram launches test of longer videos in stories

  • Instagram has launched a live test of 60-second-long videos on Stories.
  • This means that longer clips will no longer be split into 15-second segments and played across multiple frames.
  • The option is being tested by a small group of users.
  • Longer videos aim to provide more creative freedom and further integrate Instagram’s video options to streamline content creation.
  • This could allow users to post full Reels to Stories – merging both features.
  • Full story, here.


Plans to curb online abuse from anonymous accounts

  • A proposed law would allow social media users to choose whether to verify their identity to curb online abuse.
  • MP Siobhan Baillie proposed a law to amend the ‘gap’ in its approach to abuse and the impact of anonymity.
  • This would give users the chance to verify their accounts, while users preferring to stay anonymous would be given a pseudonym and can choose to remain unverified.
  • However, platforms should offer options to limit or block interactions with unverified users.
  • The law aims to reduce online abuse and give greater control to social media users about who they interact with.
  • Full story, here.


Under 1 in 3 pupils turn to teachers when worried

  • Research involving more than 45,000 pupils showed that less than a third of pupils would choose to speak to a teacher if feeling sad or worried.
  • Only 29% reported to have spoken to a teacher about their feelings in the past, with 48% choosing to speak to a parent.
  • Students reported various reasons for not speaking to teachers, including having lost trust in a teacher after hearing student worries discussed without consent.
  • The same report found higher rates of student stress in schools graded as ‘outstanding’ and lower levels of reported wellbeing.
  • 66% of students completing their GCSEs reported feeling overworked and two-fifths of pupils undergoing GCSE or A-levels reported poor sleep.
  • Full story, here.