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Inquiry finds children being pushed to brink by social media bullying; tech giants doing little

SOCIAL media tech giants had failed to effectively tackle cyber-bullying, offering only “tokenistic” attempts to stamp it out and failing to be accountable, an investigation has found. According to a UK parliamentary-led probe the shortcomings were putting youngsters’ mental health at risk with more than a third of children reporting a negative impact on how they feel about themselves. But the platforms including Google, Facebook and Twitter denied the claim and told the inquiry it was taking their responsibilities seriously. The UK inquiry findings comesas the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission begins its inquiry into how these platforms harvest people’s personal data to push the

Vero is said to be the new Instagram, but what exactly is it?

How many successful social networks can there be? Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat might be the biggest but there are any number of smaller virtual spaces. Do we have space in our lives for another social media app? Makers of Vero, the latest new social network, are hoping to tap into the FOMO factor, offering their photo-sharing app for free for the first million. The new network is pretty much like Instagram but has a few different quirks. Vero doesn’t have any adverts, is in chronological order and boasts categories like links, books, movies and more. Read more:

Top cop resigns in disgrace over link to racist and obscene posts

One of Victoria Police's most senior officers and the head of the force's Professional Standards Command has resigned in disgrace over racist and obscene posts made under the pseudonym Vernon Demerest. Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin, head of Professional Standards and a police officer of 40 years, was last week referred to Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog after The Age revealed he posted shocking comments under the online pseudonym "Vernon Demerest". The Age revealed on Monday that that nom de plume has been also linked to several vile posts on social media under the Demerest alias, including references to "cheating dagos", "third world dullards", "Indian and Pakistani peasant[s]" an

Combatting online bullying is different for girls and boys: here’s why

Demands for improving online safety continue to capture headlines, often for the worst reasons.. While this outcry has signalled renewed interest in “stamping out” cyberbullying and reinvigorated health and wellbeing protocols for young people, interventions continue to fall behind the fast-paced development of communication devices and the take-up of new social media by teenagers. The focus on gender in “next step” interventions is noticeably absent. Intervention protocols have viewed teenage girls’ and boys’ online interaction as more or less the same. This is a mistake. Teenage girls, especially those aged 12 to 14, are more likely than any other demographic to experience cyberbullying, a

Gold Coast tragedy + Filming and sharing illegal content on social media

Tragic events at a school on the Gold Coast on Wednesday this week, saw a number of students deliberately take a drug they had purchased online, at school and film the subsequent rush to post to Snapchat. In the film clips shared with their friends, students included the label and the dosage of the drugs they took , showed the effect and shared it to Snapchat. The effect was not what was expected. While there are many things to say about the circumstances of this event, there are issues surrounding filming on school grounds, and uploading these to Snapchat and with the current media focus on these Gold Coast students, it is an excellent time to open a discussion with the children in your car

Bullying link to youth suicide focus of radical Australian Bureau of Statistics project

THE terrible toll of teen bullying could soon become apparent under a radical plan to comb police records for how many youngsters take their lives after being subjected to harassment. The Australian Bureau of Statistics already assesses police, toxicology and autopsy reports from every suicide in the country. But as part of the ambitious new project the ABS will also probe each death to look at relationship breakdowns, job problems and domestic violence as “factors” in the suicides of young people and adults. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:

Snapchat.....we have a problem.

If you have allowed your primary school student or young teen a snapchat account, here’s something you need to be aware of. One of the search functions of Snapchat is providing too much information about their users. If the location services for the app are turned on a very concerning security problem is revealed. Snapchat has a very clever user retention strategy behind it. They lured in a whole generation based on the fact that their snaps would disappear after a short amount of time, so it became a second language for teenagers. A large percentage of kids say they use Snapchat because their parents don’t. Also, if you turn off location services for snapchat you start to disable some of th

School asks parents to ban their children from using social media for two years in an attempt to sto

A school has asked parents to ban their children from using social media for two years in an effort to combat cyber bullying. Kowhai Intermediate School in Auckland, New Zealand wants its students to stop using social media even when they are not at school. A newsletter published on the school's website outlines the social media ban. 'We believe it would be highly beneficial for our students and indeed families to create and support a social media-free community for students outside of school hours during their two years at Kowhai,' it reads. The request to ban social media is part of the school's 'ICT contract', and was brought about as a result of 'incidents' which affect students in 2017.

The benefits of social media for young people in care

Young people in care benefit from the psychological, emotional and social support gained via social media networks -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia's Centre for Research on the Child and Family (CRCF). Until now, the automatic assumption has been that platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp only pose a risk for this vulnerable group. But social media can help young people living in state care maintain healthy and appropriate birth family relationships and friendships, make new connections and ease transitions between placements and into adult independence. The research is published today in the British Journal of Social Work, ahead of Safer Internet

Cyber-trolls and online bullies: Call for bans amid spate of teenage suicides

CYBER-BULLIES would be banned from social media and slapped with an online­ version of an apprehended violence­ order as part of a radical plan to stop trolls. Anti-bullying charities are using a powerful parliamentary inquiry to call for a criminalisation of trolling — including giving child cyber-bullies a social media order (SMO) that would ban them from contacting their victims and using sites such as Facebook and Instagram. It comes after 14-year-old Amy “Dolly” Everett took her own life on January 3 after being targeted by bullies online. Read full article here:

Melbourne man charged with soliciting porn via kids' games and apps

A Melbourne man has been charged with soliciting child pornography and sending indecent images to children through popular kids games and apps. Police allege the 36-year-old Sydenham man used chat functions within mobile applications to communicate indecently with children, solicit child exploitation material and send indecent images. The Victorian Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team has charged the man with soliciting child exploitation material and transmitting indecent communications to a child under the age of 16. He is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday. Read the full article here:

Are you following the same digital rules you set for your kids?

Fellow parents who have lectured your child on the life-threatening dangers of texting and driving: Have you ever relied on Google Maps while driving or checked your email at a red light? Digital double standards are everywhere. They’re in the home, at birthday parties, on vacations and even in our own social media feeds. And they’re becoming increasingly obvious to our children. As a social media coach, I speak with and interview thousands of kids across the nation, and they’re upset. They notice. A group of sixth graders I recently met with shared these examples. Do they sound familiar? Reda the full article here:

The role of parents and screentime

What is our role as parents when it comes to screentime and digital devices? These little devices that connect us, entertain us, provide us with information, show us where to go, keep us organised and allow us to indulge in retail therapy from almost anywhere, have become an integral part of our daily lives. Most of us won’t leave home for long periods of time without being tethered to a digital device. But when it comes to our children and their screentime habits, we are often lamenting the role the devices play. These little screens that offer so much and answer so many of our needs, leave us wondering how much is too much, and how do we keep it under control? When parents ask me this I ur

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