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November 28, 2023

Instagram reportedly served up child-sexualising reels to followers of teen influencers

  • According to an experiment conducted by The Wall Street Journal, Instagram Reels video service would show “risqué footage of children as well as overtly sexual adult videos” to test accounts that exclusively followed teen and preteen influencers – namely young gymnasts and cheerleaders.
  • These sorts of ads were supposed to be forbidden on Meta’s platforms.
  • The report added that the Canadian Centre for Child Protection achieved similar results with its own tests separately.
  • Companies like Bumble, and Disney have since either pulled their ads from Meta or pressed the firm to address the issue.
  • Meta told its clients that it was investigating and “would pay for brand-safety auditing services to determine how often a company’s ads appear beside content it considers unacceptable.”
  • For more, please visit the Engadget website.

Court document claims Meta knowingly designed its platform to hook kids, reports say

  • Meta Platforms deliberately engineers its social platforms to hook children and knew, but never disclosed this.
  • It also had received millions of complaints of underage users on Instagram but only disabled a fraction of those accounts.
  • Both claims are according to a newly unsealed legal complaint described in reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
  • The complaint was originally made public in redacted form and was the opening salvo in a lawsuit filed in late October by the attorneys general of 33 states (US).
  • Company documents cited in the complaint described several Meta officials acknowledging the company designed its products to exploit shortcomings in youthful psychology such as impulsive behaviour, susceptibility to peer pressure and the underestimation of risks.
  • Meta stated that the complaint misrepresents its work over the last decade to make their platform safe for teens, and argued age verification is a “complex industry challenge.”
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

Downpatrick: Childminder’s husband jailed for abusing children

  • The husband of a registered childminder has been given an eight-year sentence for abusing two children.
  • The offences were against two young girls who were being looked after by his wife.
  • The man (64) a former senior civil servant, previously admitted six counts of sexual assault.
  • Judge Millar reported that he “took advantage of that situation to commit these acts, thus betraying the children, their families and also his own wife.”
  • The court heard that he sexually assaulted one of the victims twice in September 2022, and a second victim came forward when she saw media reports of his arrest and charge.
  • He was told that, had he been convicted after a trial, he would have been sentenced to 12 years. The judge reduced the sentence to eight years, half in prison, half on licence, considering personal background and guilty pleas.
  • He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life and is subject to a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.