Half of teens addicted to social media, clamp down on ‘tax-free’ side hustles

Almost half of British teenagers
say they feel addicted to social media, according to findings that come amid mounting pressure for big tech companies to be held accountable for the impact of their platforms on users. The finding, from the Millennium Cohort study, adds to evidence that many people feel they have lost control over their use of digital interactive media. It comes as dozens of US states are suing Instagram and its parent company, Meta, accusing them of contributing to a youth mental health crisis and as the EU has ushered in major reforms designed to give consumers more control over smartphone apps. The Guardian 

Information supplied by BT and EE to ISPreview has revealed that customers on their fixed broadband ISP network delivered a modest increase in internet traffic over Christmas, but no new records were set. Christmas Day itself saw data traffic peak at 19.57Tbps (Terabits per second), which is up by 7.23% from 18.25Tbps last year. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are traditionally fairly quiet periods for fixed line data usage…But  this is usually reversed on Boxing Day, when more time is spent playing with new internet-connected gadgets and going online to shop or stream football matches etc. ISPreview 

Are you raking it in selling clothes online?
Is letting out your spare room proving a nice little earner? People who make money from online “side hustle” activities like these will find the tax net tightening this year. From 1 January firms including Vinted, Airbnb, and eBay are obliged to collect and share details of such transactions with the tax authorities. That will allow HMRC to home in on anyone who should be declaring the extra income but isn’t. BBC

Google and Amazon must do more after a British woman made a suicide pact with two people she met online and used the internet to buy poison, a coroner has said. Chloe Macdermott, 43, died in May 2021 after buying a lethal substance from the US on Amazon. An inquest at Inner West London Coroner’s Court was told earlier this month she had “formed an association” with two people. A day later, she contacted them while her husband was away and “an agreement was made to act that night”. Sky News 

The British Government has cracked down on the export of semiconductor technology to China amid a joint Western push to restrict Beijing’s access to advanced microchips. Official export control figures show that the Department for Business and Trade blocked the vast majority of licence applications for companies seeking to export semiconductor technology to China in 2023. In previous years, the Government was far more lenient about approving exports, the figures suggest. Telegraph 

Chinese company BYD has moved a step closer to toppling Elon Musk’s Tesla as the world’s biggest-selling manufacturer of electric vehicles. The firm said on Monday it had sold a record 526,000 battery-only vehicles in the last three months of 2023. That was helped by a more than 70% surge in sales in December. For the year as a whole, Shenzen-based BYD said it had sold more than 3 million so-called-new energy vehicles (NEVs), which includes battery-only vehicles and hybrids. BBC 

London school leaders have called for children to be taught about artificial intelligence, comparing fear of the technology to that initially felt about calculators in classrooms. Jane McLellan, deputy head pastoral of the £21,000 a year St Dunstan’s College in Catford said AI has the potential to allow people to access “vast amounts of information” and to free teachers up from menial, data crunching tasks. Standard 

Chris Price