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February 28, 2023

Meta backs new system to stop intimate images of young people from being posted online

  • Meta, owners of Facebook and Instagram, have announced that they are founding members of ‘Take It Down’.
  • Take It Down is a new platform which has been created to proactively prevent young people’s images from spreading online.
  • Meta have supported the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the development Take It Down.
  • Young people can use Take It Down to submit a case that will actively look for their intimate images on participating apps.
  • The service assigns a unique numerical hash value to the image or video being reported directly to the user’s device.
  • Hashing works by turning images and videos into a coded form that can no longer be viewed.
  • Once the hash is submitted to NCMEC, companies can use those hashes to find copies of the image, take them down and prevent them from being posted on the participating apps in the future.
  • For more on this story, please visit Meta’s website.

Snapchat launches an AI chatbot and apologises for what it might say

  • Snapchat has announced that it is launching ‘My AI’, an OpenAI chatbot.
  • My AI is an experimental feature that is initially available for $3.99 a month for Snapchat+ subscribers and will be expanded for all users in the future.
  • My AI will appear as a regular Snap user profile, which would indicate that it is being advertised as more of a virtual friend rather than an all-purpose writing machine.
  • When it rolls out the bot will be pinned to the top of the app’s chat section.
  • Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel has said, “While my AI is designed to avoid biased, incorrect, harmful, or misleading information, mistakes may occur”.
  • For more on this story, please visit Engadget’s website.

Headteacher tells parents they will not look into social media misuse anymore

  • A headteacher of a school in Kent has reportedly told parents to deal with their children’s social media arguments themselves.
  • They maintain that social media was the primary cause of “disagreements, stress, anxiety and trauma” among students.
  • The headteacher penned a letter to the parents and stated that pupils in years 7 and 8 at the school should not even be on the platforms as they are too young.
  • The school states that after half-term they will not investigate into the misuse of social media platforms or the content within them.
  • They have since issued a follow up letter affirming their stance.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Times website.

Crimestoppers appeal for help to tackle ‘cruel exploitation’ of children across North Wales

  • Crimestoppers have launched a campaign across North Wales warning that children and young people are being manipulated, coerced and abused by adults and peers.
  • Issues include drug dealing, child sexual exploitation, coercion into theft and robbery as well as being forced and tricked into moving money and guns.
  • The charity is appealing for the “public to stand up and pass on information anonymously to Crimestoppers to help safeguard victims.”
  • Crimestoppers are encouraging parents, teachers and professionals who work with young people to be vigilant and look out for signs of grooming.
  • For the fully story, please visit the Nation Cymru website.