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Weekly Briefing: 18-25 January 2019

Facebook apologises for hosting self-harm content on Instagram which caused 14-year-old to kill herself

Facebook has said that it’s ‘deeply sorry’ for not filtering out disturbing content on Instagram which is believed to have caused the suicide of a 14-year-old girl in 2017, according to the BBC. The tech company said that graphic content which sensationalises self-harm and suicide “has no place on our platform” after the girl’s father criticised Instagram, claiming it “helped kill my daughter”.

Parent Zone's Vicki Shotbolt says social media platforms have a duty to ensure vulnerable young people aren't served content which celebrates self-harm or suicide - read her thoughts here

Read more (BBC)


Record number of child sexual exploitation websites shut down in 2018

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has revealed that a record 105,000 websites containing child sexual exploitation images have been found and removed in the last year by UK investigators, according to The Telegraph. The record represents a 34 per cent increase from last year when only 78,589 sites were shut down.

Read more (Telegraph) 


Celebrities agree to flag paid-for content on social media

Several celebrities and influencers, including Ellie Goulding, Zoella and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, have announced that will now clearly state when content is sponsored by a brand, according to the BBC. The Competition and Markets Authority has fined many influencers in the past for breaching consumer law by not flagging paid-for content.

Read more (BBC)


WhatsApp introduces forwarding block to combat fake news

Social media platform WhatsApp has announced that it will introduce a forwarding block which will only permit users to forward a message to five individuals or groups to prevent the spreading of fake news, according to The Guardian. The limit has been in place in India since last July after several people were publically lynched due to false stories being spread via WhatsApp.


'Selfie Dysmorphia': the people getting cosmetic surgery to look 'filtered'

More and more people are seeking cosmetic surgery so they can more closely resemble the filtered selfies they post on Instagram. This article from The Guardian looks into ‘selfie dysmorphia’ and how social media and image-sharing apps are warping our perception of the ‘ideal’ face.

Read more (Guardian)