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Weekly Briefing: 6-13 February 2019

Children should not bring devices to bed or dinner table, according to new guidance

Children should not bring their devices with them to bed or to the dinner table according to new guidance on screen time released by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers. It also recommended that children spend no more than two hours on screens consecutively and that families prioritise offline time together, according to the BBC.

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Instagram pledges to remove self-harm content from the platform

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has pledged to purge the social media platform of all graphic self-harm content and make sure that non-graphic content is harder to come by, according to The Telegraph. Earlier this month, the father of 14-year-old Molly Russell blamed her suicide on self-harm content she'd found on the platform.

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Hancock backs statutory 'duty of care' for social media companies

Health secretary Matt Hancock has backed a new statutory duty of care which would make social media companies responsible for the content they host on their sites, according to The Telegraph. They would, however, not be treated the same way as newspapers as the companies will not be considered publishers — but "somewhere in between".

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13-year-old told to 'gamble' by popular YouTuber

‘I was scrolling through YouTube one day and saw a video by Morgz — he was opening these boxes and winning things like iPhones’. Read this story from the BBC of a 13-year-old boy who lost all of his birthday money playing an online game promoted by the popular YouTuber Morgz featuring gambling.

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Kids using apps like TikTok at risk of sexual exploitation, charity warns

Children’s charity Barnardo’s has warned that children as young as eight years old are at risk of being sexually exploited through apps like TikTok if they don’t have the proper security settings in place, according to The Telegraph. The charity warned that sexual predators often use video-sharing platforms to get in touch with and exploit children.

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WhatsApp deletes 2m accounts monthly to combat fake news

The instant messaging service WhatsApp has said that it is deleting two million accounts per month in an effort to tackle the spread of fake news through the platform, according to The Guardian. In India, which is the country with the largest number of WhatsApp users, fake news spread through the app is said to have been the cause of 30 mob lynchings.

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