Snapchat announces new parental controls

  • Snapchat has announced new parental controls for the platform.
  • The controls will include options to limit friend suggestions
  • Snapchat will no longer show 13- to 17-year-old users’ accounts as suggestions to other users unless they have multiple friends in common.
  • This aims to make it harder for older users to find young users’ accounts.
  • This move comes as part of Snapchat’s efforts to combat the fentanyl sales on the platform.
  • More details on the parental controls are due to be released in the coming months.
  • Full story, here.


New laws to tackle misleading crypto-asset adverts

  • New laws to legislate crypto-asset promotions will be passed to deal with misleading promotion.
  • Within these laws, crypto assets will be subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules in the same way as other financial promotions, such as for stocks.
  • Crypto assets such as Bitcoin (a cryptocurrency) are largely unregulated, and investors lack protection.
  • Approximately 2.3 million people in the UK own a crypto asset but the government is worried that consumers may not understand what they are buying.
  • While non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also unregulated, they will not be covered by the new rules.
  • To find out more about NFTS, check out our blog post.
  • Full story, here.


Social media sites should not ban misleading content

  • According to UK’s senior scientific academy, calls for social media sites to remove misleading content should be rejected.
  • Misleading content includes false information about vaccines, climate change and 5G.
  • The Royal Society investigated sources and the impact of online misinformation and concluded that removing accounts would “do little to limit harmful effects”.
  • Bans could drive misinformation “to harder-to-address corners of the internet and exacerbate feelings of distrust in authorities”.
  • Full story, here.


Deaf students ‘falling behind’ due to face masks

  • The return of face masks in secondary school classrooms has left deaf students struggling to communicate.
  • The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) urges parents to contact England’s education secretary about the impact of face coverings on their children.
  • Deaf children are “falling behind” with schoolwork and struggling to communicate with friends.
  • Masks make lip-reading “impossible” and cover-up “crucial facial expressions”.
  • The NDCS urges the government to provide clear face coverings to schools and colleges with deaf students and set up a dedicated support fund.
  • Full story, here.

Appalling temporary accommodation ‘violates’ children’s rights

  • Thousands of homeless children in London are being placed in “uninhabitable” accommodation that violates their rights.
  • Human Rights Watch and the Childhood Trust claim that the UK government are failing their duty to ensure the right to adequate housing.
  • Families are living in “severely crowded conditions” and unhygienic rooms.
  • Consultant paediatrician Monica Lakhanpaul described the children as “invisible” and said their situation had worsened due to the pandemic.
  • Full story, here.


Commissioner to review ‘inadequate’ child services in North-East Lincolnshire

  • A commissioner is to investigate the state of a council’s children’s services after a damning Ofsted report.
  • Services in North-East Lincolnshire had “significantly deteriorated” since 2017 and were rated as inadequate in November 2021.
  • The commissioner is to decide if the council is to be temporarily removed from control of childrens social care in March.
  • The authority is looking after 582 children, double the number that were in its care five years ago.
  • Full story, here.


MSPs to probe impact of pandemic on attainment

  • The Scottish Education, Children and Young People Committee is to examine the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children’s attainment.
  • The examination will determine how successful the Scottish government has been in closing the gap between students from different backgrounds.
  • This follows as coronavirus has disrupted schools, with pupils learning at home during two Scotland-wide lockdowns.
  • The pandemic has adversely affected young people across Scotland, “but no group has been hit harder than those from deprived backgrounds”.
  • Full story, here.