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Cyberflashing, epilepsy-trolling and 'fake news'...

Parts of the Online Censorship Act have come into force

Link Here31st January 2024
Full story: Online Safety Act...UK Government legislates to censor social media

Abusers, trolls, and predators online now face a fleet of tough new jailable offences from Wednesday 31 January, as offences for cyberflashing, sending death threats, and epilepsy-trolling are written into the statute book after the Online Safety Act gained Royal Assent.

These new criminal offences will protect people from a wide range of abuse and harm online, including threatening messages, the non-consensual sharing of intimate images known as revenge porn, and sending fake news that aims to cause non-trivial physical or psychological harm.

Dubbed Zach's law, a new offence will also mean online trolls that send or show flashing images electronically with the intention of causing harm to people with epilepsy will be held accountable for their actions and face prison.

Following the campaigning of Love Island star Georgia Harrison, bitter ex-partners and other abusers who share, or threaten to share, intimate images on or offline without the consent of those depicted will face jail time under new offences from today.

Those found guilty of the base offence of sharing an intimate image could be in prison for up to 6 months, or 2 years if it is proven the perpetrator also intended to cause distress, alarm or humiliation, or shared the image to obtain sexual gratification.

Cyberflashing on dating apps, AirDrop and other platforms will also result in perpetrators facing up to two years behind bars where it is done to gain sexual gratification, or to cause alarm, distress or humiliation.

Sending death threats or threatening serious harm online will also carry a jail sentence of up to five years under a new threatening communications offence that will completely outlaw appalling threats made online that would be illegal if said in person.

A new false communications offence will bring internet trolls to justice by outlawing the intentional sending of false information that could cause non-trivial psychological or physical harm to users online. This new offence will bolster the government's strong commitment to clamping down on dangerous disinformation and election interference online.

In the wake of sickening content, often targeted at children, that encourages users to self-harm, a new offence will mean the individuals that post content encouraging or assisting serious self-harm could face up to 5 years behind bars.

While much of the Online Safety Act's protections are intended to hold tech companies and social media platforms to account for the content hosted on their sites, these new offences will apply directly to the individuals sending threatening or menacing messages and bring justice directly to them.

Some of the offences that commence from today will be further bolstered too, when the wide-ranging Criminal Justice Bill completes its passage through Parliament.



Age appropriate censorship...

Meta details extended censorship rules for under 18s

Link Here28th January 2024
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Meta writes in a blog post:

New Protections to Give Teens More Age-Appropriate Experiences on Our Apps

  • We will start to hide more types of content for teens on Instagram and Facebook, in line with expert guidance.

  • We're automatically placing all teens into the most restrictive content control settings on Instagram and Facebook and restricting additional terms in Search on Instagram.

  • We're also prompting teens to update their privacy settings on Instagram in a single tap with new notifications.

We want teens to have safe, age-appropriate experiences on our apps. We've developed more than 30 tools and resources to support teens and their parents, and we've spent over a decade developing policies and technology to address content that breaks our rules or could be seen as sensitive. Today, we're announcing additional protections that are focused on the types of content teens see on Instagram and Facebook.

New Content Policies for Teens

We regularly consult with experts in adolescent development, psychology and mental health to help make our platforms safe and age-appropriate for young people, including improving our understanding of which types of content may be less appropriate for teens.

Take the example of someone posting about their ongoing struggle with thoughts of self-harm. This is an important story, and can help destigmatize these issues, but it's a complex topic and isn't necessarily suitable for all young people. Now, we'll start to remove this type of content from teens' experiences on Instagram and Facebook, as well as other types of age-inappropriate content. We already aim not to recommend this type of content to teens in places like Reels and Explore, and with these changes, we'll no longer show it to teens in Feed and Stories, even if it's shared by someone they follow .

We want people to find support if they need it, so we will continue to share resources from expert organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness when someone posts content related to their struggles with self-harm or eating disorders. We're starting to roll these changes out to teens under 18 now and they'll be fully in place on Instagram and Facebook in the coming months.

We're automatically placing teens into the most restrictive content control setting on Instagram and Facebook. We already apply this setting for new teens when they join Instagram and Facebook, and are now expanding it to teens who are already using these apps. Our content recommendation controls -- known as "Sensitive Content Control" on Instagram and "Reduce" on Facebook --- make it more difficult for people to come across potentially sensitive content or accounts in places like Search and Explore.

Hiding More Results in Instagram Search Related to Suicide, Self-Harm and Eating Disorders

While we allow people to share content discussing their own struggles with suicide, self-harm and eating disorders, our policy is not to recommend this content and we have been focused on ways to make it harder to find. Now, when people search for terms related to suicide, self-harm and eating disorders, we'll start hiding these related results and will direct them to expert resources for help. We already hide results for suicide and self harm search terms that inherently break our rules and we're extending this protection to include more terms. This update will roll out for everyone over the coming weeks.



Punish Me ASA...

ASA bans advert for a mobile game: Whispers: Interactive Romance Stories

Link Here24th January 2024

An in-app ad for the mobile game Whispers: Interactive Romance Stories , seen on 30 October 2023 in the mobile game app Virtual Families 3 . The ad featured an animated scene of a blindfolded woman kneeling on the floor while a man standing in front of her held her face in his hand. A speech bubble appeared which was labelled Niece. She said to him, Uncle, please punish me. On-screen text then appeared which stated 20 years ago. The scene cut to the woman as a young child at a funfair. She said, Uncle, this place is so fun! He held out his arms, lifted her into the air and nuzzled into her cheek. She said to him, Uncle, I will marry you when I grow up! The ad then returned to the opening scene with the woman blindfolded in a kneeling position and her statement, Uncle, please punish me. Two buttons appeared: Accept and Reject. An animated finger reached out from the bottom of the screen as though it was going to press the Accept button and then did the same thing with the Reject button.

A complainant who challenged whether, by featuring a potentially incestuous relationship between an uncle and his niece, the ad was offensive and irresponsible.

Gamehaus Network Technology Co Ltd did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.

ASA Assessment: Complaint Upheld

The ASA was concerned by Gamehaus Network Technology Co Ltd's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

The ad appeared in the Virtual Families 3 mobile game, which had a PEGI 3 rating meaning it was suitable for people of all ages, including children.

It highlighted the relationship between an uncle and his niece. In the first and last scenes, she was portrayed as an adult and was blindfolded in a kneeling position. She said, Uncle, please punish me. We considered that consumers would be likely to understand from her blindfolded, kneeling stance and her request to be punished that she appeared willing to engage in sado-masochistic, sexual behaviour with her uncle. We further considered that the flashback to the funfair scene when she was a child and her statement that she would marry her uncle when she was grown up, added to the impression of them having an incestuous relationship and had overtones of a child being viewed as a sexual object and groomed by an adult relative. We concluded that the ad had the effect of portraying a child in a sexual way.

Because the ad featured scenes depicting an incestuous relationship between an uncle and his niece, and suggested that a child had been sexualised and groomed by an adult, we concluded it was likely to cause serious and widespread offence in any medium in which it appeared, and portrayed a child in a sexual way and was therefore irresponsible.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained of.



Offsite Article: Obituary: Graham Bright...

Link Here24th January 2024
Full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted
Legislator behind the appalling Video Recordings Act

See article from

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