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Simfin

esafety and digital citizenship specialist

News & Comment

14 June 2016

'Snapchat' - it sounds so harmless. Those two syllables denote a world of cute mouse ears, rainbow symbols and facial distortion filters that burst onto our smartphones as messages for a matter of seconds, before disappearing forever. The app now seems to be as common among 50-somethings as millennials (judging from my friends’ parents who have just discovered the #LOL filters).

The only time we hear a negative report of the app, is when it's used by teens to sext. That’s when alarm bells start ringing - mainly for parents and teachers, often at a loss to know how to stop kids exploring their sexuality on social media.

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29 February 2016
New Mexico teenagers can now exchange nude photos without fear of criminal prosecution under a new bill that legalizes sexting and could have national implications for laws on child abuse images.
 
Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican, signed into law a proposal that allows people aged 14 to 18 to engage in consensual sexting, which means adolescents caught sharing explicit photos with each other will no longer risk facing “child pornography” charges, prison sentences and a damaging criminal record.
 
29 February 2016
For creators, reshooting a scene for the tiniest bloopers is one of the more annoying (and cost-consuming) aspects of filming. Today, YouTube wants to help fix that by letting you blur any part of the video before it makes it to the public Web.
 
The concept isn’t entirely new – in 2012, YouTube launched a face blurring tool to help anonymize people in videos. With today’s update, users can blur out any section of the video – be it unwanted license plates, visible phone numbers, wardrobe malfunctions, disturbing imagery, or the like.
 
19 February 2016

Facebook is rolling out a new feature across the UK to help users who feel suicidal.
The Suicide Prevention tool has been developed in connection with the Samaritans.
It aims to try and provide advice and support for those struggling to cope, as well as for their friends and family.
People can now report posts they are worried about in a more direct way.

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