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The darker side of community and social media

It was Sunday night in Byron Shire and, as usual, a Facebook debate was raging. An opinion piece by Echo columnist Mandy Nolan about a sexualised image on a children’s carnival ride had become the subject of a series of vitriolic posts on a community page in Brunswick Heads. Ms Nolan was the target of most of the comments, though a number of others were also on the receiving end. Read the full article here:

Child advocates urge Facebook to end Messenger Kids

More than 100 child advocates, civil society groups, medical experts and other individuals are urging Facebook to discontinue its Messenger app for kids, alleging that the software poses health and development risks to children. Organized by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, nineteen groups, including Common Sense Media and Public Citizen, have signed a letter to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg that will be sent on Tuesday. The initiative is the latest example of critics opposing early adoption of digital technology and is playing out amid a broader backlash against the rising influence of Silicon Valley. The signatories said children are not prepared for online relation

Does Social Media Affect Your Sleep? Science Says The Answer Is Definitely Yes

For everyone out there who likes to catch up on their news right feeds right before they catch some shut-eye for the night, there's bad news on the horizon. If you've ever wondered whether social media affects your sleep, a new study by the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey says it definitely does. The survey revealed that the more social media you use, the higher your odds are of a "shorter sleep duration," meaning less sleep than you probably need. I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely guilty of this. Read the full article here:

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a statewide survey of children on the topic o

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a statewide survey of children on cyberbullying after calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to put the issue on next month's COAG agenda. Cyberbullying will be the focus of a new Youth Advisory Council and the topic of a statewide Queensland Families and Children Commission survey undertaken between March and June, Ms Palaszczuk said on Monday. "The issue of cyberbullying will be a focus as will other issues including youth empowerment, out of home care, mental health, youth suicide and disability issues," she said. Read the full article here:

Social media companies accelerate removals of online hate speech: EU

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have accelerated removals of online hate speech in the face of a potential European Union crackdown. The EU has gone as far as to threaten social media companies with new legislation unless they increase efforts to fight the proliferation of extremist content and hate speech on their platforms. Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube signed a code of conduct with the EU in May 2016 to review most complaints within a 24-hour timeframe. Instagram and Google+ will also sign up to the code, the European Commission said. The companies managed to review complaints within a day in 81 percent of cases during monitori

DPP directs no prosecution over cyberbullying death

The Director of Public Prosecution has directed no charges will be brought in the case of a teenager who died following alleged cyberbullying, an inquest has heard. The mother of Darren Hughes Gibson (17), who was found dead in 2012, said following the DPP’s decision that laws need to change to protect children from online predators. Following consideration of a substantial file containing 5,500 pages of online messages, the DPP has directed that no charges will be brought, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday. Elaine Hughes said she believes her son was bullied online due to the colour of his skin. “The laws need to change, there are too many children out there who feel they have no oth

Katy Perry: I'm a victim of social media pressure

Katy Perry says she is a "victim" of social media because of society's pressure to share every move online. The singer and American Idol judge says Instagram and Twitter are proof of the "decline of civilisation". She also encouraged fans to not care about social media and to instead live their lives. Perry has over 68 million Instagram followers and 108 million Twitter followers, but says she would rather not document her whole life online. Read more from the original article here:

Banning social media wouldn't have saved Dolly

OPINION One of the many abusive messages sent to Katelyn Simpson via an anonymous Snapchat account. Picture: Russell Simpson Source:Facebook SINCE the tragic death of 14-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett, I’ve been hearing a chorus of increasingly shrill voices calling to ban kids from social media. Ban specific apps! Ban social media platforms! I’ve even seen a petition. Some of these calls come from child psychologists who you’d think would know their stuff. However, what’s clear to me as a cyberhate expert and trolling target is that these psychologists may know about children, but they don’t understand cyberhate. And they are suggesting Band-Aid solutions for what is, in effect, a

Cut yourself to death’: Sick cyber bullies using 'anonymous feedback' app Sarahah taunt scho

A schoolgirl has warned about a social media app that has led to her being bullied and told to take her own life in sinister and cruel messages. The phone app Sarahah, which has over 300 million users worldwide and can be used in conjunction with Snapchat. It allows people to give others 'anonymous feedback' on their social media pictures. Creators of Sarahah claim it can be used as a 'self development tool' to 'discover areas of improvement' and was originally intended for people to use in the workplace. It's popularity soared late last year. Read more of the original article here:

Facebook warned it faces legal action from ‘revenge porn’ victims

Facebook is facing a number of lawsuits from victims of “revenge porn”, a leading libel lawyer has warned, after a teenager reached a settlement with the social networking site over naked images of her that were posted online. The Belfast-based libel and privacy expert Paul Tweed has also told the Guardian his office was being “deluged” by inquiries from people who claim naked and compromising pictures had been posted on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Tweed said this was in addition to a “very significant number of cases” his Belfast office was already dealing with in relation to complaints about revenge porn being posted on social networks. “Because Facebook, Twitter and other social me

Facebook has announced a change to its News Feed algorithm that will keep posts from news publishers

From Business Insider. Despite all the reports of fake news, fake Russian ads, and the overall abuse of its platform, Facebook has repeatedly refused to admit it's a media company.Yes, it distributes content. Yes, it runs ads against that content. And yes, it even produces its own shows and other media. But Facebook continues to insist that despite the fact it has many of the characteristics of a media company, it doesn't need to act like one. Now Facebook is doubling down on that theory with a drastic change to the News Feed algorithm. In the coming months, Facebook's algorithm will no longer prioritize content from news publishers and brands. Instead, you're more likely to see posts from p

Dolly Everett: Mourners gather to remember girl following suicide over alleged bullying.

A teenage girl who took her own life after alleged bullying has been remembered by her family as a person who "saw the good in everybody she met". Hundreds of mourners in the Northern Territory town of Katherine have celebrated the life of 14-year-old Amy 'Dolly' Everett at a memorial service. The 14-year-old girl was from a well-known cattle family in the Northern Territory and was once the face of Akubra, with a photo of her smiling as a child eight years ago featuring in an ad campaign. Dolly's father Tick Everett was joined by the teenager's mother, Kate, and sister Meg, to deliver a statement after the service. "As a family, we will remember Dolly as a kind, gentle and loving little gir

WHATSAPP Security flaws could allow snoops to slide into group chats.

When WhatsApp added end-to-end encryption to every conversation for its billion users two years ago, the mobile messaging giant significantly raised the bar for the privacy of digital communications worldw ide. But one of the tricky elements of encryption - and even trickier in a group chat setting - has always been ensuring that a secure conversation reaches only the intended audience, rather than some impostor or infiltrator. And according to new research from one team of German cryptographers, flaws in WhatsApp make infiltrating the app's group chats much easier than ought to be possible. At the Real World Crypto security conference Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland, a group of researchers

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