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December 8, 2023

Facebook and Messenger to automatically encrypt messages

  • Meta has announced that calls and chats will automatically be end-to-end encrypted by default.
  • This means that only the sender and recipient can read content shared.
  • Critics are of the belief that this move will make it harder to detect child sexual abuse on Messenger.
  • Meta has argued that when end-to-end encryption is default “we will also use a variety of tools, including artificial intelligence, subject to applicable law, to proactively detect accounts engaged in malicious patterns of behaviour instead of scanning private messages.”
  • The company also announced on Wednesday that it would add more new features, including the ability to edit messages for up to 15 minutes after they have been sent.
  • The changes will take some months to fully roll out.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Charity says millions of young people exposed to vape posts online

  • A report by the ‘Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ claims companies are using “aggressive” tactics and posts promoting smoking alternative nicotine and tobacco products had been viewed more than 3.4 billion times across social media platforms.
  • The report is based on data from social listening tools including Keyhole, CrowdTangle and Klear and manual searches.
  • The study investigated the scale of such content, examining three brands: Velo, Vuse and Iqos.
  • The report claims that 40% of the audience was under 25 and 16 million were under 18.
  • The majority of views were on Instagram.
  • Chief executive of the charity said the report “should raise the alarm bells” around inappropriate marketing.
  • The charity wants a legal responsibility to be placed on social media companies to proactively identify and remove any illegal tobacco and nicotine product marketing from their platforms.
  • For more, please visit the Guardian’s website.

TikTok adds comment filtering tools to better handle Israel-Hamas war content

  • TikTok is rolling out new comment filtering tools, with the most noteworthy one being “Comment Care Mode,” which automatically filters comments that are classed as similar to the creator’s previously reported or deleted ones.
  • Another new feature helps put an end to comments made by accounts that are not in the creator’s following or follower list.
  • The company aims to increase new users’ awareness of these tools through prompts after uploading their first video.
  • Longer term, the platform will set up a product beta testing program to get direct feedback from creators.
  • TikTok has also set up a new anti-hate and discrimination task force, in the hopes of proactively spotting antisemitism, Islamophobia and other hate trends before they escalate further.
  • The task force will work with experts on improving training for moderators to better address hate speech.
  • The platform will expand its managed creator communities to Jewish plus other inter-faith communities, as well as API and LGBTQ+, next year.
  • For more, please visit Engadget’s website.

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Grooming gangs: Police ‘do not accurately understand issue’

  • His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) reviewed 52 investigations involving the sexual exploitation of children, of which 27 uncovered abuse by groups.
  • It was found that data collection was “unreliable”, and intelligence gathering “wasn’t prioritised.”
  • Of these 27 police investigations, nine were assessed by the HMICFRS as “good”, 14 as “requiring improvement” and four as “inadequate.”
  • The data found that found that most offenders were white, despite the concerns of politicians about “Asian” grooming gangs.
  • The report found that an “accurate view of group-based child sexual exploitation still wasn’t available to the police service.”
  • This report found that when first arrested, police were often unsure what suspects had been doing.
  • It also noted the use of officers who were not specialised in sexual abuse investigations, warning that they often lacked experience and training.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.