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June 19, 2023

Online Safety Bill: changes urged to allow access to social media data

  • The government is being urged to adopt amendments to the Online Safety Bill, to enable researchers to access platform data to monitor harmful behaviour.
  • Access to this data would be overseen by communications watchdog Ofcom and would protect user privacy.
  • Other amendments put forward include strengthening age-checking, and Ofcom providing a code of practice on preventing violence against women and girls.
  • These amendments are supported by groups including the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), the NSPCC and the Molly Rose Foundation.
  • In an open letter to the government, the groups said the Bill was in “serious peril” of passing without making social media platforms transparent.
  • For more, please visit the Guardian’s website.

Meta says it’s totally fine for 10-year-olds to wear its VR headset, probably

  • In a recent blog post, Meta have announced it will permit users as young as 10 to use its Meta Quest 2 and 3 VR headsets with parental consent.
  • These will take the form of parent-managed accounts.
  • Parents will be able to control which apps their young person uses and set time limits.
  • In terms of data collection, Meta have said it will use the information they collect to “deliver an age-appropriate experience”.
  • Parents will be able to choose whether their child’s data is used and delete their child’s account, including all data associated with it, should they decide.
  • Meta provides a document mentioning the potential hazards of VR, including the potential erosion or delay of a child’s “reality distinctions”.
  • For more, please visit the Tech Crunch website.

Almost half of young people want to leave NI, with 40% saying there is a paramilitary influence in their area

  • Research from think tank Pivotal, has found that barely half of young people in Northern Ireland see a future for themselves here.
  • It also found that young people want an integrated society, better job opportunities, more mental health support and greater efforts to tackle paramilitary influence and drugs.
  • Findings stated that the biggest concern for the younger generation over the next five years, is the rise of the cost of living.
  • The research also found that young people want better careers advice, and most believe opportunities for employment are limited in Northern Ireland.
  • Ann Watt, director of Pivotal stated “findings in this report point to several key issues that, if addressed, could help build a Northern Ireland where more of our young people believe they could thrive.”
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Telegraph website.