TikTok’s testing a new option to invite connections in other apps

  • TikTok is testing a new feature where users can invite connections in other apps to view content and follow their profile.
  • The option is currently available to some users.
  • Content can be shared in various third-party apps.
  • Users are re-directed to the video and automatically follow the account that posted the content.
  • A date for the wider release of this feature hasn’t been announced yet.
  • Full story, here.

UK data watchdog seeks talks with Meta over child protection concerns

  • The UK’s data watchdog is seeking clarification from Meta about parental controls on its virtual reality (VR) headset.
  • Campaigners have warned that the VR headset may breach an online children’s safety code.
  • The Information’s Commissioner’s Office said it was planning “further discussions” with Facebook and Instagram.
  • The headset’s lack of parental controls means parents are unable to block content.
  • This could expose young users to the threat of abuse and harmful content on the platform.
  • Full story, here.


Calls to male sexual abuse helpline double in 2021

  • More than 7,000 calls, texts and emails were received by Safeline’s male helpline in 2021.
  • This is more than double the calls made in 2020.
  • It’s estimated that as many as one in 6 men have been sexually abused or assaulted but very few ask for help.
  • The Charity’s Chief Executive Neil Henderson said that they are “seeing a lot more younger people seeking support now”.
  • Organisations are aware of more reports related to dating apps and websites.
  • The organisations encourage changes to the sex education curriculum.
  • This should cover consent, remove shame from sex and disclosing abuse to help men and boys to overcome stigma.
  • Full story, here.

Drug lines into Norwich and Norfolk halved in 2021

  • More than half of drug lines into Norwich and Norfolk have been stamped out by officers in the past 12 months.
  • Norfolk’s Police County lines leader reports that drug-related crimes are expected to reduce in 2022.
  • There are now under 30 lines into Norwich and Norfolk, compared to 75 in November 2019.
  • Fewer than 10 are classed as the ‘highest harm’ where exploitation of children and indications of weapon carrying have been identified.
  • For more information on county lines, check out our blog post.
  • Full story, here.


Welsh Government announces new Children’s Commissioner for Wales

  • Rocio Cifuentes has been announced as the new Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
  • She will take up the position in April 2022, when Sally Holland’s tenure ends.
  • The Commissioner promotes and protects children’s rights and ensures that the Welsh Government’s policies and legislation benefit children and young people.
  • Cifuentes is the chief executive of the Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team (EYST).
  • EYST is the leading organisation supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
  • Full story, here.


Warning from Police for children’s devices

  • Humberside Police are encouraging parents to check the security and safety settings on any electronic devices bought at Christmas.
  • Detective Sergeant Patrick Morfitt from Humberside’s Police Online Investigation Team stresses the importance of checking settings.
  • Parents should ensure that parental controls are set up and should discuss how to stay safe online with their children.
  • For more resources, check out our first device blog.
  • Full story, here.