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June 27, 2023

Image based abuse laws to be overhauled to help victims in new crackdown

  • So called, ‘Revenge porn’ is defined as “revealing or threatening to share private explicit images or videos without the consent of the person with the aim of provoking distress”.
  • It was made a criminal offence in 2015.
  • Victims subjected to intimate image abuse will no longer have to prove their perpetrators intended to cause distress, under a new amendment to the Online Safety Bill.
  • The change will make it easier to charge and convict offenders, with those found guilty being charged with a maximum of six months in jail.
  • In cases where the offender sought to cause distress, alarm, or embarrassment, or shared the material for sexual gratification purposes, they could face a two-year sentence.
  • Perpetrators who have distributed the image for sexual gratification, could also be placed onto the sex offenders’ register.
  • The changes will also criminalise the sharing of “deep fakes”, which are explicit images or videos manipulated to look like someone without their consent.
  • From April 2015 to December 2021, the police have documented 28,000 reports of disclosing private sexual images without consent.
  • For more, please visit the Independent website.


TikTok’s family pairing tool now gives parents personalised control over the content their young people see

  • TikTok is bringing its content filtering tool to Family Pairing, which lets parents link their account to their young person’s to enable content and privacy settings.
  • Content filtering allows users to filter out videos with words or hashtags they don’t want to see in their feeds.
  • By bringing content filtering to Family Pairing, TikTok says it will enable parents to help reduce the likelihood of their young person “viewing content they may uniquely find jarring”.
  • TikTok liaised with experts, including the Family Online Safety Institute, on how to strike a balance between families choosing how to tailor their young person’s online experience, whilst respecting young people’s rights.
  • Young people by default, can view the keywords their caregiver has added.
  • TikTok has also announced the launch of a global Youth Council later this year to listen to young people’s experiences to create safer experiences.
  • For more, please visit the Tech Crunch website.

Dramatic cuts in education in NI must be reversed, says experts

  • The “rapid response” report was written by nine academics from Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, Stranmillis University College, and Newcastle University.
  • The aim of the report was to warn public representatives of the societal impact of these cuts on education provision.
  • Funding for education was cut by approximately £66m.
  • However, due to the impact of inflation, the real-terms reduction is much higher.
  • The report concluded there would be “far-reaching and serious consequences of the cuts to the education budget”, with children who are “disadvantaged will most acutely feel the pain of the budget”.
  • The report also included recommendations, including that the 2023-24 Northern Ireland budget “should be withdrawn”.
  • For more, please visit the BBC website.