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Weekly briefing: 12-19 October 2018

Online porn will not require age verification due to loophole in new legislation

Children are still able to view millions of sexually explicit videos online despite new UK age verification rules due to a loophole which exempts social media and image-sharing sites, according to The Guardian. The rules, presented by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to parliament last week, will allow websites like Tumblr, Twitter and Reddit to freely distribute pornographic content without the need for age verification.

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GTA creator given permission by court to search hackers' homes

Grand Theft Auto creator Rockstar Games has been given permission by a court order to search the homes of five people accused of creating cheat software in the game, according to the BBC. The creators of the cheat software, known as Infamous and allows players to enter “god mode” through which they can manipulate the gaming environment, are based in Melbourne, Australia and have had their assets frozen by the federal court.

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Snapchat introduces filters for cats

The popular photo- and video-sharing platform Snapchat has announced that its in-app filters have now been programmed to work on cats, according to the BBC. The novelty filters only previously worked on humans on some dog breeds but will now allow users to include their pets in their pictures. Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, decided to introduce the feature in response to the dropping number of users.

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Hate content in the future could be both created and removed by algorithms

In the future, online hate content might be both created and countered by algorithms writes Alexander Brown for Huffington Post. He points out that poorly written algorithms used by chat bots can cause them to significantly under-report and over-report content as hate speech. For example, including the word ‘love’ in a hate speech post means that it will be ignored by bots.

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NHS mental health services failing in one in seven areas of England

Research by the BBC has found that NHS mental health services are failing patients in one in seven areas of England. NHS is supposed to treat at least half of the patients seeking therapy but the data has shown that it is currently not meeting these targets. The drop in treatment quality is being blamed on decreased funding for mental health services and long waiting lists due to the high volume of people seeking treatment.

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