GOVT UPDATES ONLINE SAFETY BILL TO INCLUDE SCAMS AND FRAUD
The UK government has updated provisions in its Online Safety Bill to include protections against online scams and fraud.
Under the proposed rules, social media companies will have a duty to prevent fraudsters paying for adverts which are then displayed to users.
The government will also launch a consultation into further tightening the rules for the online advertising industry.
The announcement comes amid criticism of the Online Safety Bill by the NSPCC, who have said its provisions do not go far enough to tackle online child abuse.
The NSPCC has said existing proposals are “all bark and no bite” and has called for senior managers in tech firms to be personally liable for negligent behaviour affecting children’s safety.
Sir Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC said: “Ministers must not forget the Online Safety Bill began as a child protection measure.”
“But unless it is significantly strengthened this landmark legislation will fail to protect children from grooming taking place on an industrial scale.”
NSPCC LAUNCH BOYS’ MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN
The NSPCC has launched a new campaign, encouraging boys who struggle with their mental health to ask for help.
The campaign, called We All Feel It, will include videos featuring celebrities in sport, social media and gaming and seeks to reduce the stigma some boys experience when discussing their own mental health.
Data from the NSPCC’s Childline support service shows only one boy calls Childline to talk about their mental health for every five girls, despite the fact that child suicide rates are more than twice as high for boys compared with girls, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
“At Childline, we want to remind all children that sharing their mental health concerns with a trusted adult or a Childline counsellor is a brave thing to do, and it will enable them to get the help and support they need, said Alex Gray, Service Head of Childline. “We hope that by putting the spotlight on male mental health we can help boys understand that they are not alone.”
Separately, the government has issued a best practice guide to support young people’s online safety and experiences for children in social care settings. The guide follows research which shows that children in care are more at risk from harm online compared to their peers.
TIKTOK INFLUENCERS BRIEFED BY BIDEN ADMINISTRATION
Top TikTok influencers in the US have been invited to a White House briefing by the Biden administration to provide them with information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Matt Miller, a communications special adviser for the White House National Security Council led the call, which educated the influencers about the strategic goals of the US, the assistance the US was providing Ukraine and the role of NATO in the conflict.
The move is part of efforts by the US government to tackle disinformation and propaganda about the Ukrainian conflict that has spread rapidly online and on social media, often originating from Kremlin sources.
The announcement follows an investigation by Vice revealing that many TikTok influencers in Russia are being paid by the Kremlin to spread propaganda about the war and defend the actions of the Russian government.
CRYPTO CASH MACHINES TO BE SHUT DOWN
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered the closure of all 81 cryptocurrency ATMs in the UK.
The FCA said that no ATM operator in the UK has a licence to sell or exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and as such the ATMs are illegal. It threatened legal action against any operator that does not shut down the ATMs.
At present, the ATMs allow customers to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies using their bank card.
It comes after a cryptocurrency executive was charged with fraud in the US for lying about the mining assets of his Ormeus Coin.
John Barksdale’s company, Ormeus Global, has raised over $100 million from investors since its launch. He faces a prison sentence of up to 65 years.
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