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Online Safety Bill: Plan to make big tech remove harmful content axed

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Online Safety Bill: Plan to make big tech remove harmful content axed

Controversial measures which would have forced big technology platforms to take down legal but harmful material have been axed from the Online Safety Bill.

Critics of the section in the bill claimed it posed a risk to free speech.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan denied weakening laws protecting adult social media users and said they would have more control over what they saw.

The bill – which aims to police the internet – is intended to become law in the UK before next summer.

The government argues that the changes do not undermine the protections for children.

Technology companies will still have to stop children – defined as those under 18 – from seeing content that poses a risk of causing significant harm.

Many social media platforms have a minimum age and offer parental controls.

Companies will have to explain how they will check their users’ age – some like Instagram are using age-verification technology.

But some have criticised the latest changes, including Labour and the Samaritans who called it a hugely backward step.

Ian Russell, the father of teenager Molly Russell, who ended her life after viewing suicide and self-harm content online, said the bill had been watered down and the decision might have been made for political reasons to help it pass more quickly.

But Ms Donelan said there may have been a “misunderstanding” over what Ian Russell said.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “nothing is getting watered down or taken out when it comes to children.”

“We’re adding extra in, so there is no change to children. This is a very complicated Bill and there’s lots of aspects to it, but I wouldn’t want any of your listeners to think for a minute that we are removing anything when it comes to children because we’re not.”

User control

The bill previously included a section which required “the largest, highest-risk platforms” to tackle some legal but harmful material accessed by adults.

It meant that the likes of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube would have been told to prevent people being exposed to content relating to self-harm and eating disorders as well as misogynistic posts.

That prompted criticism that the bill opened the door for technology companies to censor legal speech.

It was “legislating for hurt feelings”, former Conservative leadership candidate Kemi Badenoch said.

That requirement has now been removed from the bill – tech giants will instead have to introduce a system allowing adult users more control to filter out harmful content they do not want to see.

Ms Donelan insisted the legislation was not being watered down – and that tech companies had the expertise to protect people online.

“These are massive, massive corporations that have the money, the knowhow and the tech to be able to adhere to this,” she said.

She warned that those who did not comply would face significant fines and “huge reputational damage”.

Adults will be able to access and post anything legal, provided a platform’s terms of service allow it – although, children must still be protected from viewing harmful material.

In July, the former minister David Davis was one of nine senior Conservatives who wrote a letter to then Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, warning the legal but harmful provision posed a threat to free speech.

He told the BBC he was glad it had now been taken out the bill but he still had other “serious worries” about the threat to privacy and freedom of expression which could “undermine end-to-end encryption”.

In some scenarios the bill permits the government to direct companies to use technology to examine private messages.

“I urge the government to accept the amendments in my name to fix these technology notices so that they no longer pose a threat to encryption, which we all rely on to keep safe online,” he said.

Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s shadow culture secretary, criticised the decision to remove obligations over “legal but harmful” material.

She said it gave a “free pass to abusers and takes the public for a ride” that it was “a major weakening, not strengthening, of the bill”.

And the boss of charity the Samaritans, Julie Bentley, said “the damaging impact that this type of content has doesn’t end on your 18th birthday”.

“Increasing the controls that people have is no replacement for holding sites to account through the law and this feels very much like the Government snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

But Ms Donelan told BBC News the revised bill offered “a triple shield of protection – so it’s certainly not weaker in any sense”.

This requires platforms to:

  • remove illegal content
  • remove material that violates their terms and conditions
  • give users controls to help them avoid seeing certain types of content to be specified by the bill

This could include content promoting eating disorders or inciting hate on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender reassignment- although, there will be exemptions to allow legitimate debate.

But the first two parts of the triple shield were already included in the draft bill.

At its heart this complicated bill has a simple aim: those things that are criminal or unacceptable in real life should be treated the same online.

But that means reining in the power of the big tech companies and bringing an end to the era of self-regulation.

Getting the bill this far has been a complex balancing act. Dropping the need to define what counts as “legal but harmful” content may have satisfied free speech advocates.

Including new criminal offences around encouraging self-harm or sharing deep fake porn could feel like a win for campaigners.

But it won’t satisfy everyone – the Samaritans for example don’t feel it adequately protects adults from harmful material.

The Molly Rose Foundation set up by Molly Russell’s family believes the bill’s been watered down. It’s not about freedom of speech, it said in a statement, it’s about the freedom to live.

And there’s much about the bill that is still unclear.

Internet safety campaigner Mr Russell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the most harmful content to [Molly] was content that could be described as legal but harmful.”

He added: “It is very hard to understand that something that was important as recently as July, when the bill would have had a full reading in the Commons and was included in the bill, this legal but ha

Campaign group the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) said platforms might feel “off the hook” because of the new focus on user controls “in place of active duties to deal with bad actors and dangerous content”.

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter indicated tough rules were needed, it said. Twitter recently reinstated a number of banned accounts, including that of Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, which had been suspended over anti-Semitic posts.

But CCDH chief executive Imran Ahmed added it was welcome the government “had strengthened the law against encouragement of self-harm and distribution of intimate images without consent”.

It was recently announced that the encouragement of self-harm would be prohibited in the update to the Online Safety Bill.

Fine companies

Other changes will require technology companies to assess and publish the risk of potential harm to children on their sites.

Companies must also explain how they will enforce age limits – knowing users’ ages will be a key part in preventing children seeing certain types of content.

And users’ accounts must not be removed unless they have broken the law or the site’s rules.

Tech policy expert at the Open Rights Group, Dr Monica Horten, said the bill lacked definition about how companies will know the age of their users.

“Companies are likely to use AI systems analysing biometric data including head and hand measurements, and voices,” she said.

“This is a recipe for a gated internet, currently subject to minimal regulation and run by third-party private operators.”

Much of the enforcement of the new law will be by communications and media regulator Ofcom, which will be able to fine companies up to 10% of their worldwide revenue.

It must now consult the victims’ commissioner, the domestic-abuse commissioner and the children’s commissioner when drawing up the codes technology companies must follow.

rmful content, it is very hard to understand why that suddenly can’t be there.”

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Small Business Financial Accounting Software and its Benefits

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Small Business Financial Accounting Software and its Benefits

Definition of a Small Business:

Small business is termed as a privately owned organization, partnership, or sole proprietorship with a lesser number of employees and lesser resources as well as lesser annual revenue than a regular-sized business.

What is a Small Business?

While small businesses generally can implement the same quality management systems that are used in larger corporations, still they may face different challenges. Small businesses tend to have fewer human resources and less up-front capital to be dedicated to quality initiatives. As compared to a large enterprise, upper management commitment can be stronger in a smaller business and the communications within the company are more direct and straightforward.

Every small business owner requires to manage their accounts perfectly. Owning and utilizing the right accounting software simplifies this purpose or task.

Top 20 Financial Accounting Software Benefits:

Many Small Business Financial Accounting Software features may prove beneficial to you:

  1. Easy to customize invoices
  2. Sending of payment reminders to clients through the software application
  3. Enables the clients to pay through the credit cards
  4. Regular and loyal clients are dealt with differently
  5. Expense tracking with receipt attachments.
  6. Ability to sort out your transactions concerning which tax is implied on them
  7. Easily manage your expenses according to their tax deductions
  8. Generate detailed reports about your business and its finances
  9. Collaboration is super easy
  10. Business compliance features
  11. Cloud-based software
  12. Global accessibility feature
  13. Data encryption feature
  14. The software can be accessed on multiple devices
  15. Comprehensive billing and invoicing feature
  16. Offers all the features that a small business needs for managing its accounts
  17. Inventory tracking features
  18. Allows you to access the professionally written documentation of the software
  19. Client portal makes communication with clients easy
  20. Generates bills and keeps track of what you owe

What is Small Business Financial Accounting Software?

The Small Business Financial Accounting Software depends on the type of business you are starting up or managing.  The most important deciding factor is the available budget in the small business. Based on the availability of a reasonable budget you can purchase good software that reduces the cost of the human workforce. Dealing with a small business requires you to think more smartly and intelligently as the business decision making in such small-sized businesses is extremely critical and crucial.

If you are working on a very tight budget then you might be looking for free options to allow you to get equipped with the financial accounting software. Such software is desperately needed to manage your books correctly.

Cloud-based Financial Accounting Software:

The bookkeeping is all maintained and managed on the internet cloud along with the data encryption which determines the accurate protection and security of data. Now you can access your business information from any part of the world and control your small business efficiently. It also helps you in critical decision making which is extremely cautious for your business.

Multilingual Financial Accounting Software:

Moreover, the financial accounting software for small businesses is available in multiple languages so that more customers can come and avail the services of the software. It allows the diverse types of customers coming from different regional zones and areas.

Should you hire any Expert Accountant?

Managing your accounts makes clear sense when your business is small and easy to manage as compared to a large business. It helps you know the exact cash flow into your business which keeps you informed about your business fortunes. At any time and at any moment you can check your financial health situation and make decisions to improve the cash flow.

However, as your business grows it becomes inevitable that you may need an accountant as well. Legal and financial penalties can occur in case of poor bookkeeping.

Having the right accounting software will make a tremendous change and a huge difference to any small business. As your business grows your business needs require scalability and flexibility.

Does Accounting Software Handle Payroll?

Most of the accounting software options on the market today are allowed to integrate with the payroll systems. This feature ensures a high degree of compatibility between the two even if the developer companies are different. Both modules work together to allow maximum business efficiency and profitability.

What is the Conclusive Perspective?

In the market, there is much software available for your services and benefits for the small business but SMACC holds a significant place among all the software. You can not deny its savage importance and role while stepping ahead in your business performance with dignity and confidence. It is a cloud-based software that helps you improve your cash flow rate and directs your small business on the path of continuous growth and prosperity.

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How Can Content Marketing Help Young Parents Get the Childcare They Need?

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How Can Content Marketing Help Young Parents Get the Childcare They Need?

Childcare is a nightmare for young parents. Not only are they not surrounded by the type of community as a generation ago, but they’re struggling to get by. In the absence of such a support system, young parents will need all the help they can get. There are services out there that can help them with childcare. Content marketing can help lead them to the best ones.

Blogging for Young Parents

Blogging for advertising childcare services is a very effective strategy. Young parents, or parents of this generation, have a habit of reaching for Google when they have a question. Hence, blogs and websites that hold the answers can be valuable to them.

The entire premise of content marketing for childcare stems from this. When parents find a blog or a website that they can trust, it automatically puts them into a position to subscribe to it. This is why childcare businesses need to employ content marketing. They can get to a lot more people this way.

Blogs can help young parents find the information they need, as well as peace of mind. Sharing stories of fellow parents that are struggling, and interviews with happy families can help them get through parenting. Content marketing through blogs and using tools like video, images, and personal stories can be very effective.

Creating Content Partnerships

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One great way to advertise childcare services is to create digital content partnerships with publications. You can publish on guest blogs or magazines to increase your credibility. This not only gets your attention but improves your authority on a certain subject. This can drive more sales towards you and even popularize you in the public eye as a trustworthy source.

Focus on Creating Valuable Content

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As mentioned above, young parents in today’s world are bereft of the kind of support structure once present in societies. With more and more people moving away from home and living in apartments, families are becoming scarce. With people living in single apartments and drifting away from neighborhoods, it’s easier to be alone than ever before. This support structure breakdown leaves young parents on their own most of the time. Unless their parents or their relatives can come over and help them, they’re usually in a mess.

Think about it this way. This generation is so prevalent on their devices that they immediately Google something when they face a problem. It’s a reflex now more than a response. It’s something that we just deem automatic when we face a problem or have a question.

In this regard, valuable content can help young parents deal with their new responsibilities. For instance, blogs about how to feed children or how to help them sleep can help. Blogs about the most common illnesses or ailments that children have can also help them deal with tricky situations. Old remedies and tricks that still work that are passed down over generations can also help young parents raise children.

Valuable blogs can also offer young parents that are loyal readers some discounts for childcare services. They can be given special offers or invited to workshops where they can learn to be better parents.

Create Individual Landing Pages

Landing pages are great tools that can help get web traffic for businesses. However, they’re also great tools for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for. For instance, parents that live in Trenton would usually look for childcare centers in Trenton. Hence a landing page with keywords or key phrases like that or resembling that will track well for those searches. This can work for different countries, cities, regions, etc. Where ever young parents reside where they need childcare, landing pages can help them find what they need.

On the flip side, specific landing pages can also work for young parents that require specific types of childcare. Some childcare focuses more on sports and playing rather than education. Other childcare can focus more on the latter and less on the former. Hence, parents can choose which childcare to put their kids in depending on the information available. Specific landing pages that target parents that need these services will have a better chance of getting traffic.

Content marketing for childcare services can be a boon to young parents. It can be a window to many services they desperately need in the modern era. Well-written blogs with practical tips can help young parents in times of need by offering them several useful strategies on raising their children. Content marketing can also help parents gain from the wisdom of previous generations and current parents. By reading blogs written by middle-aged or senior parents, young parents may find some comfort and encouragement. All this makes content marketing a must-have strategy for childcare providers.

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Real World Cases of Blockchain Entering Other Industries

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Real World Cases of Blockchain Entering Other Industries

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has begun to permeate into a range of other industries. From finance and medical healthcare to art and marketing, blockchain is disrupting and transforming whole fields as it continues to develop.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at real world cases of blockchain being used within marketing, PR, and advertising. We’ll be discussing:

  • Spotify
  • MatchPool
  • De Beers
  • and the Blockchain PR and Marketing industry as a whole

Let’s jump right into it!

Spotify

Back in 2017, Spotify announced that they were going to begin to incorporate blockchain into their daily system of operations. Their plan was to use the decentralized database that blockchain runs on to give a more transparent picture to artists about who owns and earns on certain tracks.

They were about to do this as one of the main benefits of blockchain is how accessible it makes data. Instead of hiding data, every single blockchain transaction is completely transparent. By incorporating blockchain in this way, they have made it so you can see who is involved with a song on the platform. This extends from the singers and the songwriters all the way to the label that released the song.

This transparent form of data sharing allowed for artists, songwriters, and producers to always be fairly attributed with their own work. This eradicated the industry problem of people not getting total credit for their work and resulted in a much fairer system.

MatchPool

Matchpool is an application that uses blockchain currency trading to incentivize their users to participate in certain communities. For example, by using the Matchpool dating app, you’ll be able to receive Guppy Tokens. These can then be redeemed in the application, or purchased and traded or exchanged.

This payment for usage feature works as blockchain can more accurately record transactions. The unalterable style of blockchain ensures that everyone who spends X amount of time on the app is awarded the correlating amount of digital currency.

Alongside this, the incentivization this company uses makes sure that people flock to their products, loading up their networks and ensuring they run smoothly.

De Beers

Having absolutely nothing to do with beer, this application is the very first platform that uses blockchain to track the history of a diamond. Within this application (named Tracr), you’ll be able to see an incredible wealth of data on a diamond – from where it was mined, to who cut and polished it, all the way to who currently owns it or at which jeweler it is located.

The transparency of blockchain ensures that this app gives accurate information on their diamonds. As records within blockchain systems are tamper-proof, each of the records is certified as authentic. This form of data sharing then allows people interested in buying diamonds the certainty that they are buying a real diamond and from a reputable source.

Once again, blockchain’s transparency has led to strides in this app’s development.

The Rise of the Blockchain Marketing and PR Industry

The rise of blockchain has led to a new form of PR and marketing to spring up – one that is wholly devoted to the social development of this particular industry.

Considering the history of blockchain scams, many social platforms did not allow blockchain to advertise on their platforms. Due to this, blockchain PR and blockchain marketing firms had to take to other social platforms.

This led to the redevelopment of the industry, these new platforms needing distinct techniques and PR strategies. One blockchain marketing and PR firm, GuerillaBuzz, composed the following graphic to show the top blockchain PR social sites:

As you can see, whereas normal PR would expect to see sites like Facebook and Twitter, they are nowhere to be found in this industry.

The development of blockchain has led to the upsurge of new industry developments.

Final Thoughts

Even though it is still only in its early days, blockchain is one of the most impactful changes that is beginning to permeate into a range of industries. No matter which industry you work in, its likely that blockchain will begin to take effect – if it hasn’t already!

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