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April 25, 2023

One in five child abuse images found online last year were category A

  • A new report by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found that 20% of illegal images found online were of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
  • It also found more than 51,000 instances of such content, which included the most severe imagery including rape, bestiality and sadism.
  • The number of webpages dedicated to monetising from CSAM had more than doubled since 2020 with almost 29,000 pages identified last year.
  • The IWF said it took action on more than 250,000 webpages last year, with three-quarters of them containing self-generated imagery.
  • IWF use the term self-generated imagery to describe ‘where the victim is manipulated into recording their own abuse’.
  • The NSPCC have said the figures are “incredibly concerning”.
  • For more on this please visit the Guardian’s and the IWF website.

Snapchat sees spike in 1-star reviews as users call for the removal of ‘My AI’ feature

  • Snapchat’s new AI chatbot has recently been rolling out to Snapchat’s wider community.
  • Since then, the app has seen a rise in negative reviews and various complaints have been voiced on social media.
  • Snapchat’s average US App Store review has declined from 3.05 to 1.67 with one-star reviews increasing from 35% to 75%.
  • Many users are saying My AI should be opt-in only or that they should have the option to remove it.
  • Some users are threatening to remove Snapchat entirely.
  • For more on this please visit the Tech Crunch website.

The surprising impact social media trends are having on children’s reading habits

  • The 2023 ‘What Kids Are Reading’ report found that the number of books children read increased by almost a quarter last year.
  • They believe this may be due to social media trends such as TikTok helping shape reading habits.
  • It found that pupils read 27,265,657 books in 2021-22 academic year which was a 24% increase on the previous year.
  • Researchers found that social media trends such as BookTok are helping drive engagement and interest in certain books.
  • The report also found that while average book difficulty increased as pupils got older, this was not in proportion to the rate that pupils should have been improving.
  • Researchers found that throughout secondary school pupils were still reading books at nearly the same level of difficulty as upper primary pupils.
  • For more please visit the Independent’s website.

Education cuts: No new school buildings to be started in 2023/24

  • No new school buildings or extensions in Northern Ireland will be started in 2023/24 due to the education budget.
  • School buildings already being constructed will still go ahead but no new projects will begin.
  • Due to a stringent budget and increases in construction market prices the demands exceed the budget funding available.
  • A scheme to provide devices like iPads and laptops to disadvantaged pupils is also being paused.
  • For more on this story, please visit the BBC News website.