Meta adds 3D avatars to Instagram Stories

  • Meta is introducing 3D avatars to Instagram Stories and direct messages, as well as updating the avatars in Facebook and Messenger to include new facial shapes and assistive devices.
  • Users will be able to appear as their virtual avatar in stickers, feed posts, profile pictures and more.
  • This is a further step for Meta in developing the metaverse, which they describe as ‘a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.’
  • You can read the full story on The Verge’s website.

Children more likely to suffer abuse online if parents are excessively on phone

  • Leicester University researchers and Internet Matters have found that children whose parents are always on their phone are three times more likely to have bad experiences online.
  • This study is the first-time children and parents within the same household have been surveyed on the effects of technology on their familial wellbeing.
  • The research also suggests that children who excessively use social media suffer 83% more negative emotions, such as anxiety and insecurity, with this figure rising to 108% for girls.
  • You can learn more about this on The Mirror’s website.

 Failure to prevent repeated online abuse should lead to fines for social media companies

  • The Petitions Committee has published its report on ‘Tackling Online Abuse’, which includes recommendations for the Government’s upcoming Online Safety Bill.
  • The Committee has called for duties placed on social media companies to address abuse aimed at adults on their platforms to be strengthened.
  • The Committee acknowledged that online harms must also be addressed by challenging attitudes that fuel abusive behaviours and ensuring abusive users face legal consequences where appropriate.
  • To read the full story and key recommendations, visit the UK Parliament ‘Committees’

Covid-19 pandemic hit wellbeing of children with sight loss

  • According to a report from Angel Eyes NI, the pandemic has led to an ‘alarming decline in emotional health and wellbeing’ for some blind or visually impaired children.
  • Angel Eyes NI stated that lockdown and home learning had increased pre-pandemic inequalities.
  • The organisation has called for better learning materials, better IT technology for pupils with a visual impairment and better training for classroom assistants.
  • Read the full story on the BBC News NI website.