SOCIAL MEDIA FIRMS ACT IN WAKE OF RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE
Social media firms have taken a number of steps in response to Russian action in Ukraine, in a bid to improve user safety and counter disinformation.
Twitch has made updates to its policies to counter misinformation, aimed in particular at taking down “misinformation superspreader” accounts which persistently share information that is false and inaccurate, such as vaccine myths and Russian propaganda.
Snap Inc has removed its heatmap feature for Snapchat users in Ukraine, in order to protect the safety of Ukrainian users. The heatmap function allows users to locate where others are sharing images.
Telegram has banned Russian state media such as Russia Today from its platforms, amid pressure from European lawmakers.
Facebook has lashed out at the Kremlin after the platform was banned in Russia. “Soon millions of ordinary Russians will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out,” Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, said.
NCSC URGES ACTION AMID HEIGHTENED CYBER ATTACK THREAT
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has urged organisations to ramp up their cyber security amid a heightened threat of cyber attacks from Russia.
It has referred organisations to its guidance on actions to take when the cyber threat is heightened.
The guidance recommends a number of specific steps organisations should make, including checking system patching, verifying access controls and reviewing backups.
“While the NCSC is not aware of any current specific threats to UK organisations in relation to events in and around Ukraine, there has been an historical pattern of cyber attacks on Ukraine with international consequences,” the NCSC said in a statement.
NEW CAMPAIGN TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has launched a communications campaign which “says ‘Enough’ to violence against women and girls.”
The campaign, which will run over a period of several years, will feature TV adverts, social media posts and billboard posters highlighting the types of violence facing women and girls in abusive relationships, such as street harassment, revenge porn and cyber flashing.
It’s hoped that the campaign will educate younger people about the importance of healthy relationships and consent, while providing victims with information on where to seek help and support.
“For too long the responsibility has been on women to keep themselves safe,” said Jo Todd, CEO of domestic violence charity Respect.
“If we are going to tackle violence against women and girls, we must hold those who use abuse to account. This involves providing meaningful opportunities for change and robust action for those who continue to abuse.”
IICSA RELEASES REPORT ON RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS INVESTIGATION
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has released a report on its investigation into child sexual abuse in residential schools such as boarding schools and special schools.
The report identified instances of sexual abuse facing children in boarding schools that “will shock and horrify” and that “represent the antithesis of everything that a school should be.”
“Teachers and others exploited their positions of trust to abuse children in all the various types of educational settings the Inquiry considered,” according to the report, while “boarding schools were described…as ‘the ideal environment for grooming,’ as the children have an increased dependency on those around them.”
Children with disabilities are three times more likely to experience sexual abuse than other children, according to the report, while children in specialist music schools were acutely vulnerable in the presence of revered music teachers.
The report recommends the reintroduction of a duty on boarding schools and residential special schools to inform the relevant inspectorate of allegations of child sexual abuse, and other serious incidents. It said the Department for Education should set nationally accredited standards and levels of safeguarding training in schools.
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