TikTok expands DM settings

  • TikTok has expanded its direct messaging settings, enabling users to choose who they want to receive messages from.
  • The options available now are: suggested friends, everyone, mutual followers, people you have sent messaged to or no one.
  • To change your settings, you need to tap the Profile icon at the bottom of TikTok’s home screen, tap the Menu button at the top and select “Settings and privacy” and then tap “Privacy”. Users will need to select “Direct messages” and choose who you allow to send you DMs.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Tech Crunch website.

Sexual abuse imagery of primary school children 1000% worse since lockdown

  • A new Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) report warns that the full effects of lockdown are only becoming clear as younger children are groomed into sexual abuse online.
  • It states that since 2019, it has seen a 1058% increase in the number of webpages showing child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) of children aged between 7 and 10 years of age.
  • Of these cases, 14% contained Category A material which is the most severe kind of material that can include penetrative sexual activity, sadism or sexual activity with an animal.
  • These instances were often recorded via an internet connected device by a predator who contacted their victims online.
  • The charity warns that during the pandemic, thousands of children relied on the internet to learn, play and socialise and this has been exploited by predators.
  • Chief Executive of the IWF, Susie Hargreaves has warned parents of this “online backdoor into their homes which is leaving their children vulnerable.”
  • For more on this please visit the IWF’s website.

Significant rise in post lockdown school absence rate

  • Figures published for the 2021/2022 academic year by the Department of Education found a significant rise in absences in the first full school year following lockdowns.
  • The figures showed that almost 10% of school days were missed by pupils due to absence, in comparison to 2018-2021 which were all around 6%.
  • Pupil illness was the main cause of absence in the 2021/2022 academic year.
  • Absence due to COVID was a significant factor, but the majority of absences were for other illnesses.
  • For the full story, please visit the BBC website.