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May 17, 2023

YouTube’s recommendations leading children to gun videos

  • A new report by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) has found that YouTube’s algorithm is “pushing boys interested in video games to scenes of school shootings, instructions on how to use and modify weapons” and other gun related content.
  • The researchers set up four YouTube accounts posing as two 9-year-old boys and two 14-year-old boys.
  • All accounts watched playlists of content about popular video games, like Roblox, Lego Star Wars, Halo and Grand Theft Auto.
  • The researchers continued to track the accounts’ recommendations for 30 days from November 2022.
  • The report notes that several of the videos recommended to the ‘child’ accounts appeared to violate YouTube’s own policies.
  • A spokesperson for YouTube has pointed to the YouTube Kids app and its in-app supervision tools which create a “safer experience” for children and young people on its platform.
  • For more, please visit Engadget’s website.

Autistic teenager attempted suicide after social media site refused to take down viral video

  • Barnoness Newlove told Westminister how a teenager with Autism tried to take his own life after a member of the public filmed him “when dysregulated and engaging in aggressive behaviour” in a fast food restaurant.
  • The video was shared thousands of times across many platforms.
  • The video was reported by the individual and his mother, but the sites would not remove it.
  • After attempting to take his own life, his mother contacted a voluntary-run service Report Harmful Content, which is run by the South West Grid for Learning.
  • After the service contacted the social media sites, and demonstrated the harm he was facing by the video and negative backlash, the social media sites removed the video.
  • The technology minister Viscount Camrose argued that the government remains confident that “service providers are best placed to deal with user complains as they will be able to take appropriate action promptly”.
  • He added that the Online Safety Bill includes “super-complaint provisions” to allow for systemic issues to be raised with Ofcom, however, it will not be able to investigate individual cases.
  • For more please see the MSN website.

The following story is relevant to Wales only. 

Call for careers advice for disabled school leavers

  • The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has stated that pupils who receive extra learning support should get more help when they leave school and go to work.
  • Many parents of children with additional needs believe there is not enough support for their children when transitioning from school into adulthood.
  • A special school with 276 pupils has spent 10 months producing videos on common issues facing students with additional needs, including substance misuse, healthy eating, and planning for life after school.
  • The Welsh government have assured that “Careers Wales provide targeted career advice and support to young people with additional learning needs”.
  • For more on this story, please visit the BBC News website.