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Weekly Briefing: 3-9 April 2019

Government sets out plans to tackle online harm

The Online Harms White Paper was published on Monday and outlined the Government’s plans to make the web safer and prevent harm. The main proposals in the White Paper were the establishment of an independent internet regulator with the power to impose fines, a mandatory ‘duty of care’ for tech companies and making companies be more transparent.

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Children targetted with gambling ads despite new ban

The Advertising Standards Authority has caught five gambling companies breaking the new regulation banning them from targetting young people with gambling ads, according to The Guardian. The firms — which included Unibet and Multilotto — advertised on more than two dozen children’s websites.

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Screen time does not affect children's wellbeing, study says

A new study by the Oxford Internet Institute has found that there is little correlation between the time teenagers spend on devices and their general wellbeing, according to The BBC. Using data from around 17,000 adolescents, the study claims that TV, being online and gaming is not damaging to children and young people’s mental wellbeing.

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Snapchat will launch in-app gaming service

Snapchat has announced that it plans to develop a service which allows users to play games within the app itself through the group-chat function, according to Variety. The social media company has already teamed up with mobile gaming giants Zynga and ZeptoLabs and has so far unveiled six games which will be featured on its gaming service.

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TikTok fails to remove sexual comments aimed at children

An investigation conducted by the BBC has found that the social media newcomer TikTok is failing to block the accounts of people sending sexual messages to young people. TikTok’s guidelines state that it does not permit sexual messages to be sent to children and the company deleted the comments when it was made aware of them.

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Facebook to hire editors to combat disinformation

Facebook has said that it wants to bring in editors to ensure that only ‘high-quality news’ is disseminated on the social media platform, according to The Guardian. The plan is most likely the company’s attempt to shake its reputation as a source of disinformation but still won’t consider itself a publisher as it does not produce the news, merely filtering it.

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