Fifteen times more child sexual abuse material found online than 10 years ago

  • Experts are finding fifteen times more child sexual abuse material online than 10 years ago.
  • Figures from online safety organisation, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) show more than 200,000 websites containing child sexual abuse material.
  • This is 15 times higher than in 2011, when there were just over 13,000 reports of abusive content.
  • The IWF urges the government to ensure that the online safety bill is used to protect children.
  • The minister in charge of the new law regulating behaviour online, Nadine Dorries, has warned social media companies that they should “remove harmful algorithms” or face criminal prosecution.
  • Dorries has been working alongside officials to make the proposed online safety bill tougher on tech firms.
  • Full story, here.

Instagram adds text-to-speech and voice effect options in reels

  • Instagram has added two new features to ‘Reels’ – a text-to-speech option and a voice changer.
  • These give Reel creators more options when creating content.
  • The text-to-speech option adds one of two artificial voice options to read any text overlays added to clips.
  • The ‘Voice Effects’ option allows users to change their recorded voice, for example as a robot or at a higher pitch.
  • These are like features already available on TikTok, which Instagram Reels have been inspired by.
  • Full story, here.

Anti-Asian hate speech surged by 1,662% during the pandemic

  • Reports analysing racism online during the pandemic have shown an increase of 1,662% in anti-Asian hate speech during 2020.
  • There were over 23 million references to violent threats aimed at people of Asian ethnicity in the UK and US between 2019 and mid-2021.
  • The report led by youth charity Ditch the Label analysed 263 million online conversations.
  • There were new online posts about race or ethnicity-based hate speech every 1.7 seconds on average.
  • Many of the racist slurs aimed at people of Asian ethnicity did not exist two years ago, before the pandemic.
  • Police data had previously shown increased hate crimes against Chinese people in the UK over the pandemic.
  • The report “shines a vital and sobering light on the very real and devastating experiences of millions worldwide”.
  • Full story, here.