TikTok Lawsuit, Discord Scam, New Powers to Tackle CSA & More

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SEVEN CHILDREN ALLEGED TO HAVE DIED AFTER TIKTOK CHALLENGE

As many as seven children under the age of 15 died after attempting a dangerous TikTok challenge according to a lawsuit filed against the company.

The challenge, which was known as the ‘blackout challenge’ on the platform, “encourages users to choke themselves…until passing out,” according to the suit.

In a statement to the Washington Post, TikTok said it had blocked users from searching for the blackout challenge.

It comes amid calls by charities to allow the social media accounts of deceased children to be accessed by bereaved family members, after the father of a 14-year-old girl was unable to access her accounts following her death.

Parent, Mariano Janin, said he feared online abuse may have contributed to his daughter’s suicide and wants to better understand the role that social media may have played in her death.

DISCORD USERS DECEIVED BY ‘NAME AND SHAME’ SCAM

Discord users are being warned about a new scam on the site known as the ‘name and shame’ scam.

The new tactic used by scammers involves users receiving a message suggesting that they’ve been added to a public list on Discord because of their poor behaviour on the platform. The user is offered what the scammer claims is a link to the Discord server with the list.

After clicking the link, users are invited to verify their account information – this information is then used by the scammer to get access to their account. Once they’ve succeeded, they repeat the scam by sending the same ‘name and shame’ message to the account holder’s friends.

Discord users have been advised to use two-factor authentication on their accounts and avoid responding to ‘calls to action’ from friends and family – such as requests to visit a website or provide personal details – even if they appear convincing.

TECH FIRMS FACE £18M FINES FOR FAILING TO TACKLE CSA ONLINE

Tech firms are set to face fines of up to £18 million if they fail to effectively tackle sexual abuse online under new powers given to media regulator Ofcom, as part of an amendment to the Online Safety Bill.

Under the amendment, firms like social media platforms would be expected to develop new technologies to identify and remove child sex abuse and exploitation (CSAE) content more effectively, while Ofcom would have the power to fine them up to 10% of their annual turnover if they fail to deliver.

More than half a million people in the UK pose a sexual risk to children, estimates from the National Crime Agency suggest, while 33,974 obscene publications offences were recorded by the police in the year to 2021.

“Child sexual abuse is a sickening crime. We must all work to ensure criminals are not allowed to run rampant online and technology companies must play their part and take responsibility for keeping our children safe, Home Secretary, Priti Patel said.

“Privacy and security are not mutually exclusive – we need both, and we can have both and that is what this amendment delivers.”

ONLINE TOOL LAUNCHED TO CHECK SCAM WEBSITES

A new online tool has been launched to help people check whether services offered by a website are scams.

The ‘Check a Website’ tool allows users to enter the domain name of a website they wish to check and find out if it’s known to have scammed other visitors to the site.

Cases involving identity fraud filed to the National Fraud database increased by 43% in the first quarter of 2022 according to data from fraud prevention service, Cifas.


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