Abacus News: Doxxing of Hong Kong children spurs new Facebook policies. “Social media giant Facebook introduced a new policy to protect minors after children of Hong Kong police officers became victims of doxxing attacks during the city’s ongoing anti-government protests, its content manager revealed on Wednesday. Under the policy that was implemented worldwide in September, Facebook removes content designed to identify children and create risks to their safety.”
New York Times: Sex Trafficking via Facebook Sets Off a Lawyer’s Novel Crusade. “Tech has led to a lot of trouble lately: hate speech, financial scams, undermined elections. Yet tech companies have largely avoided legal consequences, thanks to a landmark 1996 law that protects them from lawsuits. Now that federal law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, has a new threat: Annie McAdams, a personal-injury lawyer in Houston.”
Google Blog: Live from the North Pole, it’s Santa’s Village!. “Good day from Santa Tracker HQ! I’m Dimplesticks the Elf, news anchor for the North Pole Broadcasting Channel. This year, our candy-cane broadcast antenna extends beyond Santa’s Village with Google as our official global rebroadcast partner.” DIMPLESTICKS??!
Neowin: Google Assistant now lets parents read bedtime stories to their kids when they’re away. “Google Nest has teamed up with Instrument to create an Assistant action called My Storytime that lets users play pre-recorded stories on Google Assistant-enabled devices. The new action is inspired by military families in which parents deploy overseas, with their children missing out on bedtime stories.”
Ars Technica: The best science and math moments in Sesame Street’s first 50 years. “There was nothing on television like Sesame Street when it premiered 50 years ago, and the truth is, there’s still nothing quite like it now. (That’s a big reason why it was such a valuable acquisition for HBO in 2015.) Throughout the years, the show has always been on the front lines of what’s important to teach children. And as some of the show’s greatest hits demonstrate, long before educational advocates began popularizing the STEM acronym (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Sesame Street was already there with silly characters promoting serious lessons.” I am always here for the pinball song. One two three FOUR FIVE six seven eight NINE TEN eleven twelve….
Neowin: Increased screen-time might be impacting the physical structure of children’s brains. “The increasing usage and integration of smartphones in our lives, and those of our children, in particular, has often garnered criticism from many. As such, people have been wary about the potential downsides of the rampancy and what it entails. And one study probes into this issue.”
Mashable: A majority of kids have smartphones by middle school, study finds . “Between 2015 and 2019, the age at which a majority of kids have a smartphone dropped from roughly 13-14 to 11, according to new research. A new study from Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that seeks to inform parents about safe technology and media for children, found that 53 percent of kids have their own smartphone by the age of 11. By age 12, more than 69 percent of kids do.”