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Weekly Briefing: 7-14 December 2018

DCMS to investigate links between gambling and gaming

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will be launching an investigation into the relationship between gaming and gambling as more countries ban loot boxes, according to The Guardian. The investigation will help the government form policy on skin gambling which has received a lot of attention since games like Fortnite entered the gaming scene.

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Half of the world's population now online

A new report from the United Nations (UN) has revealed the more than half of the world’s population now has internet access after a recent increase of users in Africa, according to The Telegraph. Internet inventor Tim Berners-Lee said he was proud of the milestone but that this was a moment to “pause to think” about where the internet was going.

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'I was on Instagram. The baby fell down the stairs': is your phone use harming your child?

This article from The Guardian tells the story of a mum who got so immersed in Instagram that she did not notice her child tumbling down the stairs, and analyses how smartphones are changing our behaviour. Last month, education secretary Damian Hinds encouraged parents to put their devices away and prioritise one-on-one time with their children.

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Chatbots fail to spot cases of child sexual abuse

Two chatbots meant to help children struggling with mental health issues have required updates after they failed to spot cases of child sexual abuse, according to the BBC. Children’s commissioner Anne Longfield said that the chatbots, Wysa and Woebot, were currently “not fit for purpose” as they couldn’t adequately assess situations.

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MPs call for tackling of cyberbullying after teen suicide

MPs are calling for more resources to be allocated to bullying prevention following the suicide of a 13-year-old Scottish boy after he had been bullied online, according to Tes. Paul Masterton, the MP from the boy’s area, raised the issue during prime minister’s question time this week and urged Theresa May to put more focus on tackling cyberbullying.

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