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November 9, 2023

First Online Safety Act guidance for tech platforms targets grooming

  • Ofcom’s first draft guidance for tech platforms on how to comply with the Online Safety Act has been released.
  • The first draft code of practice published by Ofcom covers activity such as child sexual abuse material (CSAM), grooming and fraud.
  • Some measures include requiring large platforms to change default settings so children aren’t added to suggested friends lists and ensuring children’s location information cannot be revealed in their profile or posts.
  • Ofcom will also require some platforms to use a technology called hash-matching to detect CSAM. However, this does not apply to private or encrypted messages.
  • Other measures include preventing children from receiving messages from people not in their contacts list.
  • The online regulator wants to hear what tech platforms think of its plans.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Teenage girl ’facilitated’ and filmed gang attack shared on Snapchat

  • A teenage girl “facilitated” and filmed a gang attack on a young person in Dublin, which was shared on Snapchat.
  • The troubled young person later attacked a woman who was helping another girl on the side of the road.
  • The defendant pleaded guilty at the Dublin Children’s Court to two counts of assault causing harm to the victims during the incidents in February and May last year when she was aged 17.
  • The court heard how the young girl became involved in daily substance abuse and had suffered personal trauma.
  • She engaged with the Probation Service, a drug addiction treatment programme and a bail supervision scheme, all of whom praised her efforts.
  • The defendant is due to be sentenced next year and will consider leaving the girl without a criminal record if the defendant continues to stay out of trouble.
  • For more, please visit the Breaking News Ireland website.

Special educational needs: ‘Brick wall’ for NI parents seeking school support

  • The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee is holding an inquiry into the funding and delivery of public services.
  • Parents from the SEN Reform NI group appeared before MPs and gave evidence which included a claim that a parent has to regularly go to a school to change their child’s nappy in person due to a lack of support in school.
  • There were significant pressures on school places for SEN children this year, meaning hundreds of children had to wait until the summer holidays before their school place could be confirmed.
  • Paul Kavanagh, from SEN Reform NI reported that the children with SEN were being discriminated against.
  • A spokesperson for The Education Authority reported that they are “continuing to work closely with the Department of Education (DE) and other stakeholders on a comprehensive End-to-End Review of SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) with a focus on improved outcomes and cost-effective delivery.”
  • They continued: “The EA is committed to ensuring that every child with SEND receives high quality, timely and cost-effective provision and we are continuing to work with families and settings on an individual basis.”
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.