They used TikTok to commit sexual assaults on minors: Six suspects arrested in Lebanon

L Orient Today

A gang of around 30 people, including a TikTok "influencer," are alleged to have sexually abused an estimated 30 children, sometimes using the social media app to help them lure children, with Lebanon security forces starting to make arrests.

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Families who sued social media companies years ago are taking matters into their own hands

By Samantha Murphy Kelly

16-year-old Daniel, son of Jaime Puerta, died four years ago after taking a counterfeit oxycodone pill made with pure fentanyl, the illicit opioid drug, that he purchased from a dealer he found on Snapchat. In 2022, Puerta sued Snapchat in a wrongful death lawsuit. At the time, his lawsuit was one of the first to accuse social media of posing a danger to children health.

Now there are hundreds of such lawsuits against social media platforms, alleging teenagers across the country have been harmed from exposure to social media

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Schools in England given new guidance on stopping phone use

BBC News
By Christy Cooney & Nathan Standley

Schools in England have been given new guidance intended to stop the use of mobile phones during the school day. The government said the move was part of a plan to "minimise disruption and improve behaviour in classrooms". It added that many schools had already banned phones and the change would ensure a consistent approach.

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Screen Time Could Have a Surprising Effect on Our Childrens Ability to Process Sensations

Science Alert

Screens can seem like a cheat code for parenting, offering a brief respite from shrill noises and surrealist mischief long enough to do something indulgent like wash dishes or make lunch.

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Fear that AI could one day destroy humanity

Business Insider
by Lakshmi Varanasi

Sam Altman possibly brief dismissal from OpenAI has exposed a schism between the company top leaders over how to curb the existential threat posed by AI.
While Altman has spoken about the dangers of "potentially scary" AI and the "critical" need to regulate it, OpenAI former CEO has been chiefly a poster child for rapid AI innovation.

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West Chester couple swindled out of thousands of dollars by crooks spoofing the bank phone number

by Karin Johnson

Hours later, when $63,000 from the account was missing, Todd and Stephanie knew they had been scammed.
The con artist spoofed the customer service number of Chase Bank.
Data from the FBI Internet Crime Report shows there were nearly 21,000 spoofing scams reported last year, making it the 10th most common scam.

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Social media gets teens hooked while feeding aggression and impulsivity, and researchers think they know why

CBC News
by Amina Zafar

Kids who spend hours on their phones scrolling through social media are showing more aggression, depression and anxiety, say Canadian researchers.

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Nepal bans TikTok for disrupting social harmony, demands regulation of social media app

by Saman Shafiq

TikTok is now banned in Nepal.
The Government of Nepal on Monday announced an immediate ban on the popular social media app, saying it was disrupting “social harmony," the Associated Press reported. The announcement comes just days after authorities issued a 19-point directive tightening content regulation on all social media sites.
Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud said the app would be banned immediately. “The government has decided to ban TikTok as it was necessary to regulate the use of the social media platform that was disrupting social harmony, goodwill and flow of indecent materials,” Saud said, according to AP.

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Execs ignored the damage Instagram does to teens, Meta whistleblower tells Congress

CNN Business
by Brian Fung

Washington (CNN)
Meta top executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, ignored warnings for years about harms to teens on its platforms such as Instagram, a company whistleblower told a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

Meta instead fosters a culture of “see no evil, hear no evil” that overlooks evidence of harm internally while publicly presenting carefully crafted metrics to downplay the issue, said Arturo Bejar, an ex-Facebook engineering director and consultant.

Bejar is the latest former insider to level public allegations that the tech giant knowingly turns a blind eye to problems that its policies and technology cannot cheaply or easily address.

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Kisses, nudity… the children’s game “La Bouteille Infernale”

Le Parisien

Intended for children aged 8 and up, the game contains several cards and “challenges” unsuitable for a young audience. The manufacturer cites a production error after a mix with cards from the adult version of the game, it was withdrawn from sale.

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China wants to limit minors to no more than two hours a day on their phones

CNN Business
By Simone McCarthy

China is proposing new measures to curb the amount of time that kids and teens can spend on their phones, as the country takes aim at internet addiction and tries to cultivate “good morality” and “socialist values” among minors.

A proposal released by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country top internet regulator, on Wednesday would require all mobile devices, apps and app stores to have a built in “minor mode” that would restrict daily screen time to a maximum of two hours a day, depending on the age group.

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Bring in an age limit for smartphones

The Guardian

These devices should be regarded as potentially as destabilizing as cars or alchohol, writes Siobhan OTierney and Sushila Dhall laments parents who phub

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Cell phones to be banned from Dutch school classrooms next year

Story by Reuters

Cell phones, tablets and smartwatches will be largely banned from classrooms in the Netherlands from January 1, 2024, the Dutch government said on Tuesday, in a bid to limit distractions during lessons.
Devices will only be allowed if they are specifically needed, for instance during lessons on digital skills, for medical reasons or for people with disabilities.
"Even though mobile phones are intertwined with our lives, they do not belong in the classroom," education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf said in a statement.

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Opinion: We’re thinking about teens and social media all wrong

by Ana Homayoun

We’re having the wrong conversation around teen social media use.
Last month, the US surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, issued an urgent and extraordinary public warning that social media poses “a profound risk of harm” to young people. Murthy told CNN, “We’re in the middle of a youth mental health crisis, and I’m concerned that social media is contributing to the harm that kids are experiencing.”

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Parenting in the era of ubiquitous screens and social media

CNN Health
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent

A growing number of states are turning the screws on Big Tech, the internet and social media. On Wednesday, Montana became the first state to completely ban TikTok, although many are skeptical that the controversial new legislation will be enforceable.

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Excessive screen time is changing our eyes faster than we can blink

CBC News
by Yvette Brend (CBC journalist)

Staring too long at screens is driving up rate of myopia, dry eye, other vision problems
Eye specialists say they are seeing excessive screen use boosting rates of myopia, dry eye and other vision problems — even in children. By 2050, more than half of the world’s population is expected to be myopic, or nearsighted, according to the World Health Organization. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

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Citizens initiative seeks to ban smartphones in classrooms

A citizens initiative launched in late March and aimed at restricting the use of smartphones in the classroom had garnered almost 5,900 signatures by the afternoon of 18 April - still well short of the 50,000 needed to bring it before the Finnish Parliament. The initiative calls on legislators to start preparing a law which would allow elementary schools to require that pupils phones be turned off during lessons and breaks, except under exceptional circumstances.

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Why regulators in Canada and Italy are digging into ChatGPT use of personal information

CBC News
by Jason Vermes

As governments rush to address concerns about the rapidly-advancing generative artificial intelligence industry, experts in the field say greater oversight is needed over what data is used to train the systems. Earlier this month, Italy data protection agency launched a probe of OpenAI and temporarily banned ChatGPT, their AI-powered chatbot. On Tuesday, Canada privacy commissioner also announced an investigation of OpenAI. Both agencies cited concerns around data privacy.

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Why Countries Are Trying to Ban TikTok

The New York Times
By Sapna Maheshwari and Amanda Holpuch

In recent months, lawmakers in the United States, Europe and Canada have escalated efforts to restrict access to TikTok, the massively popular short-form video app that is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, citing security threats.

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The rise of dumb phones

by Liam Mays

Dumb phones are growing in popularity in the U.S., and they still make up about a quarter of mobile phones actively in use worldwide. Affordability in developing countries is a significant benefit, but their resurgence in the U.S. may be tied to concerns about the mental health impact of smartphones, especially among younger generations.

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Your child academic success may start with their screen time as infants, study says

By Madeline Holcombe

Letting infants watch tablets and TV may be impairing their academic achievement and emotional well-being later on, according to a new study.
Researchers found that increased use of screen time during infancy was associated with poorer executive functioning once the child was 9 years old, according to the study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

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Surgeon General says 13 is too early to join social media

By Allison Gordon and Pamela Brown

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms, because although sites allow children of that age to join, kids are still “developing their identity.”
Meta, Twitter, and a host of other social media giants currently allow 13-year-olds to join their platforms.

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Giving your child a screen may hinder emotional regulation, study says. Here is what to do instead

CNN Health
By Madeline Holcombe

It’s late, dinner is just now on the stove, your phone is ringing, and your child’s tantrum begins. A little screen time almost always works to calm them down.

Tempting as it may be to hand them a smartphone or turn on the TV as a default response, soothing with digital devices may lead to more problems with emotional reactivity down the road, a new study has shown.

“Even slightly increasing a child’s emotional reactivity, that just means it’s more likely when one of those daily frustrations comes up, you’re more likely to get a bigger reaction,” said lead study author Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician.

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Quebec judge authorizes class-action lawsuit against addictive Fortnite video game

Global News
Sidhartha Banerjee
The Canadian Press

A Superior Court judge has authorized a lawsuit brought by Quebec parents who allege their children became addicted to the popular online video game Fortnite.

Justice Sylvain Lussier issued the ruling on Wednesday after hearing arguments in July regarding the class-action request from three parents who described how their children had symptoms of severe dependence after playing the game.

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Online love or organ trafficker? Woman flew 3,000 miles to meet dating app boyfriend, murdered for her kidneys

Times Now News
By Kirti Pandey

Organs harvested by purported boyfriend after murdering woman: The lonely heart Mexican woman assumed that she was following the love of her life. In reality, she was caught in an alien nation, maimed, and killed for her organs after flying 3,000 miles to Peru for a date with a man she met online. Her dismembered body (with all vital organs missing) washed up in parts on the beach.

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Doomscrolling linked to poor physical and mental health, study finds.

The Guardian
Mental health

Doomscrolling linked to poor physical and mental health, study finds.

The tendency to be glued to bad news can spark a ‘vicious cycle’ that interferes with our lives, researcher says.

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A 17-year-old boy died by suicide hours after being scammed. The FBI says it is part of a troubling increase in sextortion cases

By Josh Campbell and Jason Kravarik

Ryan Last received a message on a school night in February from someone he believed to be a girl.
Within hours, the 17-year-old, straight-A student and Boy Scout had died by suicide.
"Somebody reached out to him pretending to be a girl, and they started a conversation," his mother, Pauline Stuart, told CNN, fighting back tears as she described what happened to her son days after she and Ryan had finished visiting several colleges he was considering attending after graduating high school.

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Are you phubbing? Here Is how you may be self-sabotaging your relationship!

USA Today
by Jenna Ryu

-Phubbing, or phone snubbing, involves ignoring someone in favor of paying attention to your phone.
-Though it is a common habit, experts caution it can ruin your in-person relationships.
-Research has shown phubbing can lead to marital dissatisfaction and emotional distance.

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Baby boys who watch TV for at least two hours a day are 3.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism by age three, study finds.

by Emily Craig

-Baby boys who watch TV up to 3.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism -Study of 84,000 babies found screen time linked to increased autism rates -However, the same link was not spotted for girls over the same time period

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8 rescued from Butuan cybersex den

Philstar Global
by Ben Serrano

BUTUAN, Philippines — Eight minors aged 14 to 16 were rescued in a raid on a suspected cybersex den in Purok 7, Barangay Limaha in this city yesterday.
The National Bureau of Investigation-Caraga office and regional police Women and Children Protection Center conducted the operation based on information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI said it had monitored the cybersex den to be catering to foreign pedophiles.

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Mom sues Meta and Snap over her daughter suicide


The mother of an 11-year-old girl who killed herself last year is suing Facebook parent company Meta and social media company Snap, alleging they are responsible for her daughter death.

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Is internet addiction a growing problem?


By Nick Dauk
Business reporter

Cam Adair finally realized that his addiction to video games was out of control when it made him consider ending his life.

"I struggled with it for 10 years," he says. "I dropped out of high school, never went to college, and pretended to have jobs to deceive my family."

"I eventually wrote a suicide note, and it was on that night that I realized I needed to get help. I am now 3,860-day-free from my gaming addiction."

Mr Adair, a 32-year-old Canadian, has gone on to become the founder of Game Quitters, an online support group for people struggling with gaming addiction. It now has more than 75,000 members around the globe.

While technology, and specifically the internet, has helped to keep the world running during the coronavirus lockdowns, he says it has been difficult for people like him.

"The pandemic led to me spending more time than usual watching Twitch [a live streaming service that focuses on people playing computer games], and YouTube," says Mr Adair.

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Quand nos écrans nous entraînent vers l’abîme
Marc-Andre Miserez
Doomscrolling? Même sans connaître le nom, il nous arrive à toutes et tous de nous y adonner. Un coup de blues, et hop, nous voilà enfermés dans une bulle de nouvelles angoissantes. C/’est grave docteur?

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I get abuse and threats online - why it can't be stopped?

(BBC News) Online abuse against women is on the rise, but why are not the police, the government and social media companies doing more to stop it?

By Marianna Spring Specialist disinformation reporter, BBC News

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Pandemic Tic-like Behaviors Following Social Media Consumption

Mail Online

Is social media making teenagers tics worse? Young people report their condition was affected by increased online activity during Covid pandemic... but expert says more research is needed into possible link
-Tics are fast, repetitive muscle movements that result in sudden body jolts or sounds
-Overall, 85 per cent said the frequency of their tic had worsened during Covid
-Half of respondents said increased use made their condition more severe
-Dr Jessica Frey, from the University of Florida, said more research is needed

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Tencent vows fresh gaming curbs after


SHANGHAI - China Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Tuesday it would further curb minors access to its flagship video game, hours after its shares were battered by a state media article that described online games as "spiritual opium".

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Egypt: 11-year-old girl commits suicide after playing popular online game PUBG

Gulf News
Egypt police received a report stating that a child committed suicide in her bedroom at home after playing the online game PUBG.

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10-year study shows elevated suicide risk from excess social media time for teen girls

Girls who used social media for at least two to three hours per day at the beginning of the study--when they were about 13 years old--and then greatly increased their use over time were at a higher clinical risk for suicide as emerging adults.

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Italy orders TikTok to block underage users after 10-year-old girl dies doing viral challenge

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Man’s lung explodes over losing game

A 30-year-old man from Fuzhou, East China Fujian Province, suffered an exploded lung after he became furious at losing every single round of an online game during a four-hour game night, Xinhua reported on Tuesday. Screenshot of Bang Video on Sina Weibo.

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Why Kim Kardashian West and Other Celebrities Are Freezing Their Social Media Accounts

Stars are taking a pause online in partnership with the #StopHateforProfit campaign.

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Children in China locked up for as long as 10 days at internet addiction camp

A group of men who operated a self-proclaimed internet addiction treatment facility in southeastern China have been sentenced to prison, after being found guilty of locking children in solitary isolation for up to 10 days.

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Preschoolers are using apps meant for adults, study finds

... Children as young as 3 years old are accessing apps intended for users over the age of 17 with adult themes, such as gambling and violence, according to a new study published Monday in Pediatrics. The study followed the screen use of 350 children ages 3 and 4 for a nine-month period between 2018 and 2019. ...

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Children at risk as pandemic pushes them online, warns U.N. agency

GENEVA (Reuters) - Children are having access to the internet at a younger age, spending a lot of time online and are at higher risk of cyber bullying as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps them at home, a U.N. agency said on Tuesday.

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Children at increased risk of harm online during global COVID-19 pandemic

Millions of children are at increased risk of harm as their lives move increasingly online during lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF and partners said today.

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Taking your phone to the toilet could give you coronavirus - especially if you flush

THE SUN TAKING your phone to the loo could increase your chances of getting coronavirus by transferring old bacteria back onto your hands, experts have said. COVID-19 can also be spread by flushing the loo, which sprays infected particles into the air and onto nearby surfaces. Phones could be a breeding ground for the coronavirus, experts have warned, because they will transfer bacteria back onto your hands after you wash them. Picking up your phone after going to the toilet will transfer the same bacteria as before back onto your hands. Professor William Keevil, director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit at the University of Southampton, said: You could be washing your hands, but if you start touching your smartphone and then touch your face that is a potential route of infection. Mobile phones are proven to harbour dangerous bacteria and viruses, making them a likely point of contamination.

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Coronavirus can survive on your phone for a week

METRO News Smartphone users are being urged to clean their screens with alcohol wipes twice a day to stop the spread of coronavirus. Researchers claim the killer bug can survive on the flat surface for almost a week unless it is properly disinfected. Professor William Keevil, from the University of Southampton said: You could be washing your hands, but if you start touching your smartphone screen and then touch your face that is a potential route of infection. Another academic, Professor Peter Hall from the University of Waterloo, described smart phones as petri dishes and told people to clean their phones once at lunch and again at dinner time. The average person picks up their phone 2,600 times a day and uses it around 76 times, according to research by Dscout.

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Man sentenced to more than 5 years in prison for harassing families of Parkland victims

ABC12 News FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) A California man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for cyberstalking the families of Parkland, Florida, school shooting victims.

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The novel coronavirus can likely live up to 96 hours on phone screens

Quartz by Katherine Ellen Foley But the virus can also likely live on the surfaces these droplets touch, sometimes for multiple days, says Rudra Channappanavar, an immunologist who has studied coronaviruses at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Glass in particular like the kind on screen of the smartphone you are probably reading this can harbor live coronaviruses for up to 96 hours, or four days at room temperature. In theory, it would be pretty easy to pick up the novel coronavirus from your phone screen. If someone coughed or sneezed near your phone on your morning commute while you were scrolling through social media, you could inadvertently touch that droplet and then touch your nose or mouth. Thankfully, there is an easy solution: Clean the surfaces around you. Apple recommends cleaning phone surfaces with a microfiber cloth slightly damp with soapy water. You can also use face wipes or baby wipes, or a solution of half water and half rubbing alcohol just avoid any openings. UV lights will also kill most viruses bacteria on surfaces. If you are still worried, remember: It can not hurt to wash your hands more, and touch your face less.

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Coronavirus: Plague Inc. game banned in China

(BBC) A game which challenges players to spread a deadly virus around the world has been banned in China, its makers have said. Plague Inc. has been pulled from the Chinese app store for including "illegal content", British-based developer Ndemic Creations said. It added that it is working "very hard" to find a way to reverse the ban. The bans comes as China continues to battle the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

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Cyber Bullying in Online Gaming: How It Works

One of the biggest problems that can be associated with video game bullying is that it is invisible and hard to detect at the early stages of its existence. Especially when it comes to children, it is a rather vague statement that kids would report this type of cybercrime right after falling a victim of it. The majority of kids would not even know that they are actually bullied and that their psychological health is now at stake. For example, imagine a 12-year-old teenager playing a popular shooter online, as all of a sudden, he hears in the earphones phrases like I will destroy you, I will kill you, break you, destroy your family.

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Tech giants including Tesla and Apple sued after Congolese children die in cobalt mines

(Independent) These companies are the richest companies in the world, these fancy gadget-making companies have allowed children to be maimed and killed to get their cheap cobalt, lawyer alleges. Some of the biggest names in consumer technology have been accused of being complicit in the deaths of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo who were mining a metal integral to their devices. Tesla, Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Google parent company Alphabet have been identified in a lawsuit as part of a system of forced labour that 14 families claim led to the death or serious injury of their children. The children cited in the landmark lawsuit had been put to work to mine cobalt a metal vital to the production of technologies including smartphones and computers.

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Blue light from phones and TVs may not be as disruptive to your sleep as originally thought and night modes could actually confuse the brain

(Daily Mail) "The common view that blue light has the strongest effect on the clock is misguided", said Dr Tim Brown, from the University of Manchester. In fact, the blue colors that are associated with twilight have a weaker effect than white or yellow light of equivalent brightness. Dr Brown and his colleagues said natural light during twilight the period between sundown and night is blue, so blue light at night was actually more natural. The common belief is blue light imitates daylight and reduces levels of Melatonin, a hormone which regulates the body clock and is naturally lower by day.

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Smartphone use is an addiction for a quarter of youngsters - study shows

Experts find one in four youngsters are using the devices in a way that is consistent with behavioral addiction. A quarter of children and young people are problematic smartphone users and are using the devices in a way that is consistent with behavioral addiction, research suggests. The study, by researchers at King College London and published in BMC Psychiatry, analysed 41 studies published since 2011 on smartphone usage and mental health involving more than 40,000 under-20s

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Whaley Bridge police chief left Twitter over hairstyle abuse

(BBC News) A police officer said "sexist and homophobic" abuse sparked by her hairstyle led her to leave social media. Deputy chief constable Rachel Swann made several media appearances while leading the evacuation of Whaley Bridge in August. Some viewers mocked her on Twitter. Ms Swann said the reaction reflected wider problems with social media and she was shocked her "mere existence could cause such a depth of feeling". Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I might have a slightly different hairstyle. Yes, I am quite small, she said.

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Child Abusers Run Rampant as Tech Companies Look the Other Way

(The New York Times) Though platforms bar child sexual abuse imagery on the web, criminals are exploiting gaps. Victims are caught in a living nightmare, confronting images again and again. The two sisters live in fear of being recognized. One grew out her bangs and took to wearing hoodies. The other dyed her hair black. Both avoid looking the way they did as children. Ten years ago, their father did the unthinkable: He posted explicit photos and videos on the internet of them, just 7 and 11 at the time. Many captured violent assaults in their Midwestern home, including him and another man drugging and raping the 7-year-old.

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END GAME Death from 24-hour gaming marathons, collapsed lungs & match-fixing: how intense world of e-sports breaks teenage stars

(The Sun) IT is the baffling new frontier of online fame, a snowballing industry where teenagers can earn millions from the comfort of a sofa. Yet this week, the all-consuming pressure of professional e-sports took its toll on one British star, who broke down in tears after being caught cheating on Fortnite. The shocking death of a 17-year-old teen after an all-night gaming marathon on Monday was a cruel reminder of the physical toll of gaming. The lifeless body of Piyawat Harikun was found by his dad after he suffered a stroke in Thailand, with medics believing his non-stop addiction to battle games could have been to blame. It follows the case of Brian Vigneault, a 35-year-old dad-of-three who streamed his World of Tanks sessions on the website Twitch, mysteriously passing away in Virginia in 2017 during a 24-hour gaming event.

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China fears young people are addicted to video games. Now it is imposing a curfew

Hong Kong (CNN)China has announced a curfew on online gaming for minors among new measures aimed at curbing video game addiction. The official government guidelines will be applied to all online gaming platforms operating in the country, mostly notably Tencent, the world biggest gaming company. Under the new rules, gamers aged under 18 will be banned from playing online games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. On weekdays, minors can only play for 90 minutes, while they may play up to three hours per day on weekends and public holidays. The guidelines also place restrictions on the amount of money minors can transfer to their online gaming accounts. Gamers aged between eight and 16 years old can only top up 200 yuan ($29) per month, while the maximum amount for those between 16 and 18 will be 400 yuan ($57).

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Screen time might be physically changing kids brains

(MIT Technology Review) The study: Forty-seven 3- to 5-year-olds took a test to measure their cognitive abilities, and their parents were asked to answer a detailed survey about screen time habits. The answers were scored against a set of screen time guidelines put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The kids also had their brains scanned in an MRI machine. Brain changes: The scans revealed that kids who spent more time in front of screens had what the authors call lower white matter integrity. White matter can be roughly thought of as the brain internal communications network its long nerve fibers are sheathed in fatty insulation that allows electrical signals to move from one area of the brain to another without interruption. The integrity of that structure how well organized the nerve fibers are, and how well developed the myelin sheath is associated with cognitive function, and it develops as kids learn language.

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MRIs show screen time linked to lower brain development in preschoolers

(CNN) Screen time use by infants, toddlers and preschoolers has exploded over the last decade, concerning experts about the impact of television, tablets and smartphones on these critical years of rapid brain development. Now a new study scanned the brains of children 3 to 5 years old and found those who used screens more than the recommended one hour a day without parental involvement had lower levels of development in the brain white matter -- an area key to the development of language, literacy and cognitive skills. Higher screen use was associated with less well-developed white matter tracts throughout the brain.

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Miraculous escape of metro passenger as she walks straight off the platform in front of a train while looking at her phone

(MailOnline) CCTV footage captured the accident at Estrecho metro station, Madrid, Spain. The video shows the woman sat waiting for her train to arrive on the platform. With her eyes glued to her phone, she does not stop as she reaches platform edge She falls straight onto the tracks as commuters frantically spring up to help her.

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The teenagers so addicted to cellphones they are going to detox centers

Seoul (CNN) It was 4 am when 16 year old Yoo Chae Rin realized she had been on her phone for 13 hours. In less than three hours, she had to be up for school. The South Korean high school student knew she had a problem, so she enrolled in a government camp for teenagers who can not put their phones down. "Even when I knew in my head I should stop using my smartphone, I just kept going, Yoo said. "I could not stop, so I had be on it until dawn." South Korea has one of the highest ownership of smartphones in the world. More than 98% of South Korean teens used one in 2018, according to government figures -- and many are showing signs of addiction. Last year, around 30% of South Korean children aged 10 to 19 were classed as "overdependent" on their phones, according to the Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology (MSIT). That means they experienced "serious consequences" due to their smartphone use, including a decline in self-control.

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Addicted to Fortnite? Montreal law firm says video game company should pay up

(CBC News) A Montreal legal firm has requested authorization to launch a class-action lawsuit against the widely popular video game Fortnite. The legal notice, filed on behalf of the parents of two minors, aged 10 and 15, likens the effect of the game to cocaine, saying it releases the chemical dopamine to the brain of vulnerable young people who can become dependent on playing.

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Quebec parents seek class action against makers of addictive Fortnite game

(CityNews) Two Quebec parents are seeking the right to launch a class-action lawsuit against the makers of the popular video game Fortnite, alleging it was purposely made highly addictive and has had a lasting impact on their children. Montreal-based Calex Legal is seeking to sue Epic Games Inc., the U.S. company behind the popular online multiplayer game, as well as its Canadian affiliate based in British Columbia. The firm filed a request Thursday on behalf of two parents who approached them separately alleging their sons, aged 10 and 15, have become dependent on the game in short order. Their case likens the addiction to a drug addiction, noting that the World Health Organization made a decision last year to declare video game addiction, or gaming disorder disease.

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Facebook is rolling out a test to hide your likes

New York (CNN Business)For the past decade, "likes" have been the chief currency of Facebook. It is the way we have determined how many people think our babies are cute, believe our jokes are funny and recognize our new jobs are impressive. Facebook (FB) itself has been so synonymous with likes that the thumbs up icon for the like button was placed on the sign outside the company headquarters. Now, Facebook is rethinking this feature as part of a broader effort to make the social network less stressful to use. On Thursday, the company said it will begin a test to hide the number of likes, reactions and video views from posts in Australia. The author of the post will still be able to see those metrics, but other users will not.

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Call of Duty gamer solicited a fatal swatting call. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison

A technology that is easy to use is causing problems for police as people are calling in bogus emergencies from real phone numbers that are difficult to trace. The practice is called "swatting" and its implications are dangerous. A 19 year old gamer who planned a hoax 911 call that resulted in the death of a Kansas man was sentenced to 15 months in prison last week. The gamer had pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a case of "swatting," the practice of making false 911 calls to force police to respond with SWAT teams, after Wichita police fatally shot Andrew Finch in December 2017. The ruling comes after a federal judge in March sentenced fellow defendant Tyler Barriss to 20 years in prison. Viner had recruited Barriss to "swat" another gamer after getting into an argument while playing "Call of Duty: WWII," authorities said. The other gamer knowingly gave an old address, leading Barriss to falsely report a shooting and kidnapping at Finch residence.

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"Videocall" and "screenshots" are intimate to her ... threatening and blackmail for 150 thousand dollars

Issued by the Directorate General of Internal Security Forces - Public Relations Division A complaint was filed with the Office of Combating Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Protection in the Judicial Police Unit, filed by a female citizen of the competent judiciary against a person (born 1964, Lebanese) for extortion and threatening to post pictures on social media. The plaintiff stated that he was communicating with her via videocall on the WhatsApp application, and he kept intimate screenshots of her, and he immediately blackmailed her and threatened to publish his own data on social media if she did not send him $ 150. thousand us dollars. Through investigations and technical investigations carried out by the elements of this office, they were able to locate him and arrest him in Beirut. Under interrogation, he confessed to what was attributed to him, and the phone containing the intimate photos of the plaintiff was seized. The competent judiciary has been deposited, upon his reference.

Gambling and gaming: Loot boxes should be banned

(BBC) A new report is calling for a ban on the sale of video game loot boxes to children. The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DMCS) says big gaming companies have a duty to protect players, in particular children, from spending money on virtual items like loot boxes, as well as the potentially harmful effects of playing video games for long periods of time. Head of the group Damian Collins says: "Loot boxes are particularly lucrative [meaning they make a lot of money] for games companies but come at a high cost, particularly for problem gamblers, while exposing children to potential harm."

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Facebook confirms millions of phone numbers exposed

The company said it was investigating who had compiled the database and left it online unprotected. It includes telephone numbers for about 18 million Facebook members in the UK. The UK Information Commissioner Office (ICO) said it had referred the matter to its Irish equivalent - the IDPC - which is the supervisory authority for Facebook in the EU. The database of telephone numbers and Facebook IDs was discovered on an unprotected web server and was not password protected.

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A source of distraction and fatal accidents

(Lebanon Files) How to avoid many fatal traffic accidents? There is no doubt that each of us holds his heart in his hand when looking in the mirror of his car and find the driver of the car behind him uses a cell phone and follow the messages through the means of communication and look in front of him from time to time. A lot of traffic accidents caused by distraction source , according to reports of internal security forces , reports, and this incident on the road to the north was caused by a source of distraction and means of communication ... The commitment to public safety is a culture and conviction before the penalty law, and thus can be avoided significant risks if you stick to Citizens have the concepts and values of leadership for their own safety and that of others.

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Politicians suggest video games are to blame for the El Paso shooting. It is an old claim that is not backed by research

(The Washington Post) Hours after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, brought the weekend death total to 29, following a Saturday massacre in El Paso, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered his take on what helped fuel the latest round of unspeakable violence: Video games that humanize individuals.

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Trump Suggests Video Games Connected To Violence. Research Does not Support That

(Forbes) Topline: President Trump suggested video games are among the factors driving people to commit mass shootings, like the ones in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, this weekend — but research shows that connections between the two are practically non-existent. In a public address Monday morning, Trump said : "We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace."

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Man rapes girl in UAE after luring her online, jailed

(Khaleej Times) In the first court case involving rape of a teenage girl, the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced the rapist from a GCC nation to 15 years in jail. It also handed a one-year jail sentence to the brother of the victim for badly beating up the assaulter after his sister told the family about the rape. The teenage girl had met the man on social media and the pair began dating. The online conman made the girl believe that he was well off and also promised to marry her. On the day of the incident, he phoned the victim, who was attending a family wedding, and asked her to meet him for five minutes outside the wedding hall.

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Social media, but not video games, linked to depression in teens, according to Montreal study

(CBC) Screen time and social media in particular is linked to an increase in depressive symptoms in teenagers, according to a new study by researchers at Montreal Sainte-Justine Hospital. The research team, led by Patricia Conrod, investigated the relationship between depression and exposure to different forms of screen time in adolescents over a four-year period. "What we found over and over was that the effects of social media were much larger than any of the other effects for the other types of digital screen time," said Conrod, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal.

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NOT PLAYING AROUND - I did not eat, I stayed in my dark room and did not move for 32 hours: inside a gaming addiction center where people hooked on Fortnite and other games get help

(The Sun) Things got so bad he split up from his girlfriend and ended up dropping out of university in a spiral of depression. James had first been introduced to games on the Sega Genesis and Nintendo 64 as a five-year-old. However his gaming hobby soon became an unhealthy obsession as he got hooked on games such as Call of Duty and FIFA in his teens. It was when he moved to Swansea university his gaming started to take over his life.

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In china, surgeons are treating addiction with brain implants

(Futurism) Deep brain stimulation (DBS), an experimental technology that involves implanting a pacemaker-like device in a patient brain to send electrical impulses, is a hotly debated subject in the field of medicine. It is an inherently risky procedure and the exact effects on the human brain are not yet fully understood. But some practitioners believe it could be a way to alleviate the symptoms of depression or even help treat Alzheimer and now they suspect it could help with drug addiction as well.

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This is Your Child Brain on Video Games

(Psychology Today) Video Games leave kids revved up, stressed out and primed for a meltdown.

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Minecraft player loses five-year-long game

A man who has been playing a single continuous game of Minecraft for the past five years says he is devastated to have been finally "killed". Phil Watson, 31, of Newcastle, had been playing in the most difficult Hardcore mode, which means his character cannot be brought back to life. Having walked 6,316km, flown 7,798km and jumped 732,389 times, he had got "a bit full of myself" and been startled by a zombie baby and eaten by a spider. He says the five-year game is a record.

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Prince Harry says video game Fortnite is irresponsible and should be banned

(CNBC) Prince Harry is not a dad yet he and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child this spring in but it already sounds like he might put a limit on how much time his future children spend playing video games. The Duke of Sussex is not a fan of the massively popular online game Fortnite, with the British royal going as far as to call for a ban of the game at an event at a West London YMCA on Thursday. "That game should not be allowed. Where is the benefit of having it in your household?" Prince Harry told reporters at the event, according to the BBC. Prince Harry added that he thinks Fortnite is too addictive, especially for young players. "It is created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible," the prince said Thursday. "It is so irresponsible." The free-to-play Fortnite, made by video game company Epic Games, is a multi-player, "battle royale" survival game pitting 100 players against each other at a time. The players look for weapons and tools to try and build structures while killing each other in an effort to be the last person standing.

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A mom found videos on YouTube Kids that gave children instructions for suicide

(CNN)Most parents feel pretty safe letting their children watch YouTube Kids, the child-friendly version of the video platform. But disturbing videos recently found by some moms show the social media site may not be safe for kids at all. A Florida mother said she has found clips on YouTube and YouTube Kids that gave children instructions on how to kill themselves.

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Irish people spend on average two hours on social media every single day, new research reveals

New research has revealed our online addiction is stronger than ever, with Facebook (37 per cent), Whatsapp (17 per cent) and YouTube (10 per cent) the biggest time-suckers.

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More screen time for toddlers is tied to poorer development a few years later, study says

Among toddlers, spending a lot of time staring at screens is linked with poorer performance on developmental screening tests later in childhood, according to a new study. The study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, found a direct association between screen time at ages 2 and 3 and development at 3 and 5.

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We Now Spend One Day a Week Online

According to a study that was recently conducted in the UK, the average person is online a whopping 24 hours a week. The survey, which observed the impact of smartphones on our everyday lives, noted that we now spend twice as long on the web as we did 10 years ago. Even more interestingly, one in five adults spends up to 40 hours per week browsing the internet or almost two days out of every seven.

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Smartphones, Tablets Causing Mental Health Issues In Kids As Young As Two

Children as young as two are developing mental health problems because of smartphones and tablets, scientists warn. Just an hour a day staring at a screen can be enough to make children more likely to be anxious or depressed.

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Social media use may harm mental health of teens by disrupting positive activities, study says

(CNN) Social media use has been linked to depression, especially in teenage girls. But a new study argues that the issue may be more complex than experts think. The research, published Tuesday in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, involved interviews with almost 10,000 children between the ages of 13 and 16 in England. The researchers found that social media may harm the mental health of girls by increasing their exposure to bullying and reducing their sleep and physical exercise.

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The Tech Industry's War on Kids How psychology is being used as a weapon against children

The Undoing of Families Machines Designed to Change Humans. Weaponizing Persuasion. Important Questions Are Simply Not Asked. Brain Hacking. A Peek Behind the Curtain. Digital Pied Pipers.

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