Reading Time: 2.5 mins

January 4, 2024

Almost half of teenagers feel addicted to social media – study  

  • The early findings from a study being carried out at the University of Cambridge were described as “striking”, with researchers saying that some people’s relationship with social media could be “akin to a behavioural addiction.”
  • The team is analysing data from the Millennium Cohort Study, which is being carried out by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) at the University of London.
  • It is following the lives of more than 18,000 babies born in the UK from 2000 and 2001 to map the backgrounds of children born in the early 21st century.
  • Findings showed 48% of 7,022 people surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I think I am addicted to social media.”
  • This was higher for girls (57%) than boys (37%).
  • University of Cambridge graduate student Georgia Turner, who led the analysis, reported: “This is important not just for a philosophical discussion about addiction but in order to find appropriate interventions where needed. If addiction isn’t what’s causing someone’s problems, an addiction-based intervention may not help them.”
  • For more, please visit the Independent website.

Urgent need for terrorism AI laws, warns think tank 

  • The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) says there is a “clear need for legislation to keep up” with online terrorist threats.
  • This comes after the UK’s independent terror legislation reviewer, Jonathan Hall KC, was “recruited” by a chatbot in an experiment on – a website where people can have AI-generated conversations with chatbots created by other users.
  • Mr Hall reported that “it is hard to identify a person who could in law be responsible for chatbot-generated statements that encouraged terrorism.”
  • Character AI told the BBC that safety is a “top priority” and that what Mr Hall described was unfortunate and didn’t reflect the kind of platform the firm was trying to build.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Twitch attire policy update shuts down the viral topless meta 

  • Twitch is banning the “topless meta” and other implied nudity streams with another update to its attire policy.
  • Streamers on the site are no longer permitted to “imply or suggest that they are fully or partially nude,” and may not show a visible outline of their genitals, even if they are covered.
  • This update is in response to the increase of streams known as topless or “black bar” meta, where streamers appear naked by using framing or black censor bars to cover their breasts and genitals.
  • Twitch’s Chief Customer Trust Officer Angela Hession reported: “For many users, the thumbnails of this content can be disruptive to their experience on Twitch.”
  • The company is also working on features to allow streamers to blur thumbnails for content tagged for Sexual Themes, and settings to allow viewers to filter content labelled with mature tags including sexual themes, tobacco or alcohol use, violence or explicit language.
  • For more, please visit Tech Crunch website.