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November 22, 2023

Omegle: ‘How I got the dangerous chat site closed down’

  • “Alice” or “A.M.” as she is known in court documents, told the BBC that she demanded the website’s closure as part of an out-of-court settlement.
  • Alice reported that she feels “validated” by the “outpouring of gratitude” as people have been sharing disturbing stories about the site.
  • She has spent years fighting to get compensation, after being randomly paired with a paedophile who made her his digital sex slave.
  • The father of two, Ryan Fordyce was sentenced to eight years in prison in Canada, after collecting 220 images and videos of Alice from the age of 11, carrying out sexual acts under his duress over three years of abuse. He had done the same to five other girls, meeting and grooming three of them on Omegle.
  • Attorney Carrie Goldberg, who led the case with Naomi Leeds and Barb Long stated: “This was the first case where the platform could be held liable for the harm from one user to another and that’s largely because of our argument that the product design made the type of harm so foreseeable.”
  • Her case also sets a new precedent in US law, by holding a social platform liable for an incident of child trafficking.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Pupils at single-sex schools encouraged to mix more after sexual abuse campaign

  • A number of girls’ schools have increased their collaboration with local boys’ schools to ensure their pupils are not solely coming together at discos.
  • It comes after the Everyone’s Invited movement – a campaign on sexual harassment and abuse launched in 2021, which saw some pupils accuse their schools of not tackling a “rape culture.”
  • This year, teachers raised concerns that misogynistic views are spreading into schools due to social media influencers like Andrew Tate.
  • Alex Hutchinson, headmistress of James Allen’s Girls’ School, a private school in London, reported that the collaborative days with the local boys’ school means peers can “support each other in that progress” and develop “a basis of friendship through the years.”
  • Carl Howarth, principal of Jersey College for Girls, a private girls’ school on the island, told the conference he was concerned about the “deeply sinister spread” of the “manosphere” in society and stated: “We needed to make the meeting of boys and girls normal and not an issue – a non-event.”
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

School cuts: Pupils getting helping hand from retired volunteers

  • A school in Glengormley has been facing pressures on its budget, so the school has availed of the help of a group of retired professionals who volunteer their time to assist pupils with numeracy and literacy.
  • The retirees volunteer through a programme called Back on Track, organised by the charity Solas.
  • Its organiser Kate Diamond said that due Covid-19 and budget cuts, demand for additional voluntary support has never been higher.
  • Dr Colette Gray, a retired lecturer and developmental psychologist, volunteers with the programme, and reported that the research she conducted as a lecturer showed that many children were not doing as well in literacy as they should.
  • The Department of Education (DE) said it is extremely aware of the pressures on budgets and the serious challenges facing the education system, highlighted by the current funding gap of about £300m in 2023-24.
  • The DE have said they are continuing to provide support for schools and families within the school budget, despite the significant financial pressure.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.