TEENS EXPOSED TO SELF-HARM AND SEXUAL PREDATORS ON DISCORD
Many teenage Discord users are being exposed to self-harm, sexually explicit content and sexual predators on the platform, according to an investigation by CNN. The interactions take place in chat rooms known as ‘servers’ in which teens can engage with anonymous users online.
CNN spoke to almost a dozen parents who raised concerns about the experiences their children had had on the platform.
One parent told CNN her daughter “was actively engaging in self-harm and had planned to run away to Alabama to visit a friend she made on Discord.”
Another mother said she installed security cameras outside her home after she found her teenage daughter had been asked by a male user to send him a picture of her house after asking for nudes.
According to its ‘Transparency Report’, Discord received over 400,000 reports of violations of its community guidelines in the first half of 2021, an increase of just over 80,000 compared to the previous period. Almost a third of the reports related to harassment.
“This behaviour is appalling, unacceptable, and has no place on Discord,” John Redgrave, Discord’s VP of trust and safety, told CNN.
“We built Discord to foster a sense of belonging and community, and it’s deeply concerning to our whole company when it is misused.” “We must and will do better.”
TEEN’S INSTAGRAM HACKED BY SCAMMERS AMID ONLINE CRIME SURGE
The Financial Times has reported on the experiences of 19-year old up-and-coming professional cyclist, Alex Bosley, whose Instagram account was hacked by scammers in November 2021.
Following the hack, Bosley said his friends were conned into investing in a cryptocurrency scheme. One of his friends lost £16,000 while another lost £19,000 of his savings. In total, over £100,000 was lost through the scam, according to Bosley.
Bosley said he made numerous reports to Instagram in relation to the hacking, but that it took almost three months for Instagram to shut down the hijacked account.
The report comes as the Telephone Crime Survey for England and Wales recorded a 36% increase in fraud and computer misuse offences compared with the year ending March 2019.
In a statement Meta told the FT: “Fraudulent activity like this is against our rules. We will continue to invest in people and technology to help detect and remove scams from Instagram.”
NEARLY 30 MILLION CHILD ABUSE IMAGES REPORTED ONLINE IN 2021
29.3 million child abuse images were reported and removed across the internet in 2021, according to a report by the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
The figure represents a 35% increase on the previous year, which the NCMEC said could relate to an improved effort by service providers to crack down on the sharing of abusive images online.
22 million incidents of child abuse imagery were reported on Facebook, compared with just 1.3 million on WhatsApp, supporting the view that abusive imagery shared using WhatsApp’s encrypted messaging service may be much harder to detect.
Michelle DeLaune, Sr. Vice President of the NCMEC said: “These reports concern the sexual exploitation of children around the globe.” “We share this data to continue building awareness of the insidious nature of child sexual exploitation occurring online.”
ALL SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND TO HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET BY 2025
Every school in England will have access to high-speed internet by 2025, the Department for Education has announced.
The government has set aside £150 million towards the implementation of high-speed internet in schools, with the Department for Education contacting schools in priority areas to deliver more reliable connectivity.
The move is part of the government’s phased roll-out of gigabit broadband across the UK.
AVOID LATE-NIGHT SHOPPING RIP-OFFS, CMA WARNS
The Competition and Markets Authority has warned consumers and businesses about rip-off tactics used by some firms to lure online shoppers into making purchases late at night.
The CMA warned that “misleading tactics are designed to play on behavioural biases” and shoppers should “be careful before they drink and click.”
A poll of 2,000 adults by Censuswide showed that over half of late-night online shoppers said they had done so while drinking alcohol.
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