Reports of online child sexual abuse crimes have jumped by over 80%

  • Police have revealed that reports of online child sexual abuse crimes have jumped by over 80% in the last three years.
  • The PSNI and Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) have highlighted online dangers for children.
  • They have offered advice to parents and carers on how best to keep children and young people safe online.
  • They described technology as offering benefits, yet also highlight it as a “gateway” for abuse.
  • The PSNI said in a statement, “Even for older children, a new device means new corners of the digital landscape to explore – and unfortunately, new risks to be aware of.”
  • The PSNI’s advice included checking privacy, location and parental controls on devices and having open conversations with children.
  • For more, go to the BBC’s website.

New lessons created on gambling and gaming dangers

  • Schools have been urged to use lessons created by the Gambling with Lives charity published by CCEA on gambling and gaming awareness
  • Designed for 11 to 14-year-olds, the new lessons cover topics including sports betting, scratch cards and betting in online video games.
  • The lessons recognise how gaming is a large part of young people’s worlds which can be enjoyed and benefitted from.
  • They also highlight the risks including what is known about gambling and how gaming companies use knowledge of brain chemistry and motivation to keep people playing.
  • It also highlights specific products used in online gaming which encourage in-game spending like loot boxes and skins.
  • Check out our article on Young People and Gambling in Gaming.
  • To read more, go to the BBC’s website.

Twitter disperses the Trust and Safety Council after key members resigned

  • Twitter has dispersed their Trust and Safety council today (December 13th).
  • The Trust and Safety council was an advisory group consisting of around 100 independent researchers and human rights activists, formed in 2016.
  • It was created to give Twitter an input on various content and human rights-related issues, such as the removal of child sexual abuse material, suicide prevention and online safety.
  • This has the potential to have implications for Twitter’s global content moderation.
  • For more, go to the Tech Crunch’s website.

Screen time linked to increased odds of young people developing OCD

  • In a new study led by UC San Francisco (UCSF) researchers have found that excessive screen time is linked to higher likelihood of developing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in young people.
  • The odds of developing OCD over a period of two years increased by 13% for every hour of video games played and 11% for every hour they watched videos.
  • The average young person spent 3.9 hours daily on different platforms.
  • Lead researcher, Jason Nagata had said, “Although screen time can have important benefits such as education and increased socialisation, parents should be aware of the potential risks, especially to mental health.”
  • For more on this story, please visit the Independent’s website.