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May 16, 2023

WhatsApp unveils new feature to protect ‘your most intimate conversations’

  • Meta have announced new feature ‘Chat Lock’ which will allow WhatsApp users to take a chat thread out of their inbox and put it into a new folder.
  • This would only be able to be accessed by using a password or biometric information, such as a fingerprint.
  • The content of messages in notifications will also be hidden automatically.
  • Users can lock a chat by tapping the name of the user you are messaging or group chat and select the lock option.
  • In order to reveal these chats users must slowly pull down on their inbox and enter their password or biometric information.
  • This comes after warnings from WhatsApp that it could face a UK ban under the upcoming Online Safety Bill.
  • For more please visit the Independent’s website.

Proposed amendment to Online Safety Bill to address misogynistic abuse online

  • A cross-party group of lords is backing an amendment calling for a Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Code of Practice to be written into the Online Safety Bill.
  • This amendment proposes that social media companies should remove abusive misogynistic content and ban repeat offenders or face a fine, while bosses could face jail for persistent breaches.
  • Tory peer Baroness Morgan of Cotes has said that there are codes already in place for other issues such as terrorism and child abuse, but a code is “desperately needed to specifically address the harms to women and girls”.
  • For more please visit the Independent’s website.

TikTok adds a new mental health awareness hub to provide users access to resources

  • TikTok has introduced a new mental health awareness hub which will enable users to learn more about well-being, connect with advocates and support organisations that provide important resources.
  • To access the hub users will have to go to the #MentalHealthAwareness hashtag page and click the link in the description.
  • The hub will be continually updated throughout May and will highlight educational videos, mental health, wellness centred creators and organisations which are dedicated to raise mental health awareness.
  • The hub comes as the American Psychological Association introduced its first ever health advisory on social media and the negative impact social media can potentially have for young people.
  • For more on this story, please visit the TechCrunch website.

The following story is relevant to Scotland only. 

Nearly one in ten Scots schools in deficit with close to £6m overspend

  • New figures have revealed that almost one in ten Scottish schools ended the last academic year with a financial deficit.
  • Total overspending has been reported to be £5.7 million, however the total is likely to be much greater as four of Scotlands’ councils did not respond to information requests.
  • The data showed that 238 of Scotland’s 2,461 state schools ended the academic year in 2021/2022 with their budget “in the red”.
  • The Scottish Liberal Democrats, reported their shock, that budget pressures had forced so many schools into the red.
  • They also emphasised that many councils use “accounting procedures” to say that none of schools are technically in a budget deficit or have a “true overspend”.
  • For more please visit The Herald website.