CHILDLINE LAUNCHES “REPORT REMOVE” TOOL FOR NUDE IMAGES
A new online service has been launched to help children and young people remove nude images of themselves that have been posted online.
The Report Remove tool allows young people to report evidence of explicit content of themselves published to a website. The evidence is then assessed by an analyst and the content can be removed from the website in a matter of hours if it is found to be illegal.
Users have to create a Childline account and verify their age using identity verification service Yoti, before being able to submit evidence.
The resource is a collaborative project between NSPCC-run children’s service Childline and the Internet Watch Foundation.
“When images of children and young people are taken and spread around the internet, they lose control. It can also be frightening, not knowing who may have access to these images” said Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF.
“This tool is a world first. It will give young people the power, and the confidence, to reclaim these images and make sure they do not fall into the wrong hands online.”
The service is unable to remove content from encrypted networks such as WhatsApp, and it may take longer to remove content from non-UK websites.
TWISTED TOYS CAMPAIGN
Online child safety campaign group 5Rights Foundation has launched a mock toy range labelled “Twisted Toys” aimed at raising awareness of the risks children face online.
Each of the toys in the range is designed to highlight a particular risk facing children online, such as a “Pocket Troll” which sends children hurtful messages, a “stalkie talkie” which sends unsolicited messages from strangers and a “Share Bear” which shares a child’s personal data.
“We don’t share personal information about children with random strangers, we don’t allow strangers to knock on the door and ask for a naked Polaroid. But all of this takes place online every day,” Baroness Beeban Kidron, Chair of 5Rights Foundation, told the Standard.
“Simply put, we do not accept this in the real world, and we must not allow it in the digital world.”
The launch coincides with new research published by 5Rights, showing that 80% of parents do not trust tech companies to protect children online, while 71% think the Government should be doing more around online safety.
The campaign has also attracted the support of online safety campaigner Ian Russell, whose daughter Molly died in 2017 after watching self harm content on social media.
“Safely designed tech platforms can be a great benefit to our children, but as long as profit continues to be prioritised, distress will be spread digitally, and young lives will be ruined and lost,” Russell told the Standard.
“Twisted Toys sends a clear message and raises awareness about harms too easily found online, harms that can adversely affect our mental wellbeing.”
EU TERRORISM SITUATION AND TREND REPORT 2021 (TE-SAT)
The EU’s 2021 TE-SAT report has identified several key areas of concern affecting young people online in relation to terrorism and radicalisation.
The report identifies a growing trend in the UK in the use of video game forums and platforms such as Discord to promulgate right-wing propaganda, often appearing initially as subliminal or ironic to pave the way for radicalisation. It speculates that this may account for the growing numbers of young people arrested for right wing terrorism, many of whom were minors at the time of arrest.
The report also notes a rise in SIEGE-based culture, popularised in the virtual world by white supremacist groups – who believe in starting a “race war” by engaging in “leaderless, cell-structured terrorism” – which had a particular appeal to younger people.
According to the report, some users of the online message boards are “initially drawn in by the visual culture of irony and memes and then become slowly more tolerant of radical and extreme ideologies hostile to ‘outgroups’, such as black people or ethnic minorities, Jewish people, women or the LGBTQ+ community.”
OFSTED LEADER WARNS OF SOCIAL MEDIA RISKS TO EDUCATION
Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman highlighted the threats posed to the education system by social media in a speech on 24th June.
Addressing delegates at the Festival of Education conference, Spielman raised concerns about the “policing” of teachers by online “self- appointed moral guardians” who show intolerance of other viewpoints.
“Social media can enable great humanity, when it rallies around charity or disaster. And it’s a mechanism through which ideas can be shared and debated. But sadly, it can also be a place of groupthink, intolerance and bullying,” Spielman said. “It fosters and then feeds off tribalism – whether in politics or in social attitudes. It encourages people to run with their herd, feeling at home in the company of like-minded types. Education should never fall into the same trap.”
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