Social Media Companies Instructed to Cease Recommending Children as Friends

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Tech News Summary:

  • Ofcom has issued guidance for tech platforms on compliance with the Online Safety Act, warning social media platforms to stop suggesting children as friends by default to combat online bullying and the sending of inappropriate images.
  • The draft code of practice also includes measures for larger platforms to change default settings, ensure children’s location information is not revealed, and prevent them from receiving messages from unknown contacts. Additionally, tech platforms must allocate resources to moderation teams and provide easy ways for users to report illegal content.
  • Ofcom will require some platforms to use hash-matching technology to detect child sexual abuse material (CSAM) but will not break encryption. Tech companies operating in the UK must comply with these regulations, and efforts are being made to improve reporting systems for harmful or illegal content.

In a recent development, social media firms have been urged to stop suggesting children as friends on their platforms. This comes in the wake of increasing concern over the safety and privacy of children online.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a warning to social media companies, urging them to take proactive measures to protect children from potential harm. ICO’s deputy commissioner, Steve Wood, has emphasized that these firms have a responsibility to ensure that children are not exposed to unnecessary risks on their platforms.

The ICO has raised concerns about the practice of suggesting children as friends on social media, as it can potentially expose them to inappropriate content and unwanted contact from strangers. This recommendation comes as part of the ICO’s ongoing efforts to address the growing concerns around children’s online safety and privacy.

In response to the ICO’s warning, social media companies are being urged to implement stricter measures to prevent children from being suggested as friends on their platforms. This includes utilizing age verification tools and implementing stricter privacy settings for underage users.

The ICO’s call to action serves as a reminder to social media firms of the importance of prioritizing the safety and privacy of young users on their platforms. It is hoped that this warning will prompt social media companies to take proactive steps to better protect children from potential risks and harm when using their platforms.

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