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Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500

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Pretty much everyone in this day and age owns a laptop. Maybe, they’ve just gone into university and need it for course work. Or possibly they’re of the older generation and need to keep up with online banking. Regardless of what your individual needs are, there is likely a laptop for the job. Including gamers.

As the demand for laptops rises, so does the market. With the number of companies competing for business, the cost of owning a laptop has dramatically dropped. For gaming-specific laptops, it used to be pricey to get one with decent specs. Nowadays, you can get a basic but functioning model for under $1000. Laptops of this price can run most games without noticeable lagging issues. If you’ve got $1500 to spend on your gaming laptop, then you can get something decent quality, with additional features on top of the basic model.

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a laptop, especially one for gaming. You want to make sure the processor can keep up. Also, it should have a high performing graphics card that runs the game at its highest intended potential. You need ample storage to store all your game data, and you’ll want a screen that has high-resolution.

It might sound like a lot, but with a $1500 budget, you can tick all your boxes. Let’s dive deeper into all these features and break down exactly what you should look out for when choosing a gaming laptop.

Reliable Gaming Laptop

Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

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The Absolute Best Gaming Laptop

Alienware m17 17″

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Best Smallest Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade 15″

Razer Blade 15″

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1. Razer Blade 15″

Razer Blade 15″

Best Smallest Gaming Laptop

“Razer holds the claim to the world’s smallest gaming laptop with its Razer Blade 15″.”

Razer holds the claim to the world’s smallest gaming laptop with its Razer Blade 15″. Razer is a well-known and trusted brand in the gaming community and produce lightweight and slick gaming laptops. This one is the lightest, with the chassis weighing in under 4.5lbs! If it’s so thin, then where can you plug in external devices? Well, it doesn’t lose any of its connection options with a full range of ports on the body, including multiple USBs and even a full-size HDMI port.

It’s got the latest 8th generation processor and top of line GeForce graphics card from Nvidia. It’s the newest and highest performing GPU on the market. When you look at the laptop size, it’s incredible that it even fits in there. The screen is small, but still gives you more than enough to see what you’re doing while keeping it compact. Sound quality isn’t bad either with its dual speakers, rounding off the experience.

This gaming laptop is ticking every single box in terms of specs and comes in just under the $1500 mark. For that reason, it tops our list.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-8750H 2.2 GHz Hexa Core Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max GPU
  • Screen: 15.6″ full HD with sRGB coverage
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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2. HP OMEN 15″

Good High End Gaming Laptop

“The OMEN is HPs first significant start in the high-end gaming world.”

We bring you another 15″ gaming laptop option, this time from HP. HP is another household name in laptops for all different purposes. They’ve got a large mid-range selection of gaming laptops and have now introduced the OMEN, which is their highest end.

The OMEN has the latest 8th generation processor, which delivers superior power regulation and an RTX GPU for graphics, which couples with its full HD IPS display.

It echoes the storage capacity of the Razer, with 1TB of HDD and 128GB of SSD. It weighs in a tad bit more at 5.2lbs, still decently lightweight. Where it differs, though, is in the price.

The OMEN is HPs first significant start in the high-end gaming world. Therefore, it comes at a lower cost than the previous and can save you two hundred dollars to spend on some cool accessories to complement its slick backlit keyboard.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-8750H 2.2 GHz 8th Generation Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 8GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD
  • Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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3. MSI GL73 9SDK-219 17″

Best Compact Gaming Laptop

“The last two gaming laptops on our list have been compact and lightweight.”

Let’s head to the other side of the spectrum. The last two gaming laptops on our list have been compact and lightweight, Maybe, you don’t care about that, and you want something that makes a statement. For just under $1500, you can get yourself the MSI GL73 9SDK-219.

MSI are veterans on the laptop scene. They’re known for being the big guys, and their gaming-specific design allows for the most immersive experience possible with a laptop. The large, full-HD screen is 17.3″ and refreshes at a 144Hz rate, so even fast-paced gaming will display seamlessly.

Inside, it has a whopping 16GB of memory and 512GB SSD and has the latest Nvidia GeForce graphics card. This laptop has a solid chassis with an aluminum and red color motif to match the brand. It also has a red backlight on the keyboard. It’s just a beast.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti 6GB DDR5
  • Screen: 17.3″ Full HD
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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4. Alienware m17 17″

The Absoulte Best Gaming Laptop

“If you want to stay ahead of the tech curve, then this is the best option.”

For another beast of a gaming laptop, we have the Alienware m17. This laptop is part of the gaming series from Dell and features the newest 9th generation technology. See, we told you you could get a 9th generation for under $1500. It comes in a few dollars over budget, but if you’re looking for a top of the line, then it’s worth the extra.

If you want to stay ahead of the tech curve, then this is the best option. Its CPU clocks in at 4.5GHz, and it’s got a ton of memory, making multitasking a breeze. It comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which is more than enough. If you want more, it’s got the potential to upgrade to 32GB.

The storage also comes with upgrade options. It already features ample hybrid storage with 1TB of HDD and 256GB of SSD. If you want more than you can upgrade the storage drives.

Another thing to note is that while it already delivers good graphics, its Nvidia Geforce CPU is overclockable, which may be a huge draw for some.

So, with all these incredible features, where does it fall short? The only real issue is the size. Its screen size, coupled with its weight of almost 6lbs, means it’s not conveniently portable. It’s great if you plan to use it at home and keep it at your desk. If the intention is to travel with the laptop, then you may struggle.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6 GHz
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 6GB DDR5
  • Screen: 17.3″ Full HD IPS
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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5. Acer Predator Helios 300

Good Budget Gaming Laptop

“The Acer Predator Helios is one of the most inexpensive on our list.”

We know you have a $1500 budget, but it never hurts to save a few dollars. The Acer Predator Helios is one of the most inexpensive on our list, coming in just over $1000. It still delivering some amazing features.

The design itself is super cool with its bold blue accents and unique body shape. It looks futuristic, and it’s lightweight weighing in at 5lbs. The screen is on the smaller spectrum at 15.6″ and is a Full-HD IPS.

The only place this laptop has a struggle is with 4K. If you’re after a higher resolution than 1080p, then it may not live up to your expectations. Inside, its CPU is an Intel i7 2.6GHz and has the latest high-performance GPU. For RAM, it’s more than adequate with 16BG for juggling multiple programs simultaneously.

The cooling system is top-notch, with its super thin AeroBlade fans. With this addition of quad-exhaust, it provides efficient cooling yet is quiet.

Where it excels above others of similar spec, is with battery life. The battery can last up to 6 hours, which beats many others on the market.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-9750H 2.6 GHz Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB DDR5 VRAM
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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6. Asus TUF

Most Durable Gaming Laptop

“It finds a place on our list as the most durable and reliable gaming laptop.”

The name says it all; this gaming laptop is TUF. It finds a place on our list as the most durable and reliable gaming laptop you can get under $1500. The sophisticated red and black design makes it look like you spent a lot more on it than you did.

It’s the first one on our list without an Intel processor, as it’s fitted with an AMD Ryzen 7. There is not much difference in performance between the two processors. The AMD CPU runs at a lower price point. Some say that i7 will deliver better clock speeds, but AMD has a higher number of threads. Either way, the AMD Ryzen works just fine on the Asus TUF laptop.

The screen is 15.6″ Full HD, and with its Nvidia GeForce GPU, it has excellent visual performance. The memory and storage offer everything you need with 16GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD and 256GB SSD.

For the price, you get a long-lasting and well-performing gaming laptop. The only issues it seems to have it can sometimes run hot and you can hear the fans working to keep up.

Specifications

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD Widescreen LED IPS
  • Storage: 1TB 5400RPM HDD + 256GB PCIe SSD
  • Battery: 6hrs


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7. MSI GL65 9SEK-065

Best Lightweight Gaming Laptop

“If you’re a fan of the MSI features but want something smaller and more lightweight than this 15″ laptop may tick all your boxes.”

The little brother to the MSI GL73 9SDK-219, this gaming laptop from delivers the same trusted performance, in a smaller package. If you’re a fan of the MSI features but want something smaller and more lightweight than this 15″ laptop may tick all your boxes.

Typically, the larger-bodied computers can support higher performing components, but this one keeps up with some larger models. The 15.6″ screen is 144Hz, which provides smooth and defined graphics. Its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU produces the graphics.

Battery life is about standard for the size and can last around 5 hours on a full charge. It only weighs 5lbs, so it’s easy to carry around with you for gaming on the go. Where it falls behind is in storage, with only a 512GB SSD.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H Hexa Core 2.6 GHz Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB DDR6
  • Screen: 15.6-Inch Full HD 144Hz 3ms Display with 72% NTSC (100% sRGB) Color Gamut
  • Storage: 512GB Solid State Drive
  • Battery: 5hrs


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8. Lenovo Legion Y540

Lenovo Legion Y540

Best Designer Gaming Laptop

“Its metallic build is super sleek, with the statement logo making it look like the designer bag of gaming laptops.”

Gaming experience and functionality are important, but some people are all about the looks. If that sounds like you, then for under $1500 you can score yourself a snazzy Lenovo Legion Y540. Its metallic build is super sleek, with the statement logo making it look like the designer bag of gaming laptops.

Luckily, it doesn’t come with the designer price tag and is about $1400. It also features a backlit keyboard for some extra flair.

But how does it function? The good news is that it doesn’t just boast good looks. It stacks up to others in terms of performance with the latest i7, 9th generation processor. It’s got 16GB of RAM and decent storage, delivering some good speed ratings. In the graphics department, it’s top of the line for the cost. All this in a 15.6″ package that weighs just over 5lbs.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6 GHz 9th Gen
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD
  • Storage: 1TB HDD + 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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9. Asus ROG Strix Hero II

Asus ROG Strix Hero II

Beautiful Design Gaming Laptop

“The ASUS ROG Strix Hero II is built with a mesmerizing design, keeping the needs of gamers in mind.”

The ASUS ROG Strix Hero II is built with a mesmerizing design, keeping the needs of gamers in mind.

It has decent hardware specs for its size and price. It has a 15.6″ full HD screen but weighs more than others of its size. The CPU is the 8th generation, which clocks up to 4.1GHz and has 16GB of RAM preloaded. It’s got decent storage with 512GB SSD, but you may want to upgrade at some point if you’re a hardcore gamer. The graphics card, however, is top of the line.

For features, its black chassis has a backlit keyboard that can is lit with the full spectrum of colors. It also has some additional gamer specific features like its extra-wide space bar and four other hotkeys. It comes in at the top end of the $1500 budget.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-8750H 2.2 GHz Hexa-Core Coffee Lake Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB DDR5
  • Screen: 15.6-Inch Full HD 144Hz 3ms refresh-rate IPS Display
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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10. Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

Asus ROG Strix GL531GT

Reliable Gaming Laptop

“Many commend the series for reliability, and this model fits that description.”

The last gaming laptop on our list is another part of the Asus ROG Strix series, but with a few differences. Many commend the series for reliability, and this model fits that description. However, while many of the laptops in the series have attractive looks and high-performance specs, this model is more basic. It delivers function over style.

The reason this model enters our list is for the price. Since the features are more muted, it comes in at a better price point. It’s just over $1000, so you’ve got $500 still in your pocket.

The screen is 15.6″ and full HD IPS, but the refresh rate is lower than the other laptops in the series. It will still be able to run most games at reasonable frame rates with its Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU. Although, it doesn’t have ray tracing. Where storage is concerned, there’s enough to satisfy most gamers with 1TB of SSD.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel i7-9750H 2.6 GHz (12MB Cache) Coffee Lake Processor
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB DDR5 VRAM
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Battery: 5hrs


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CPU/Processor

Where processors are concerned, you will want something with at least a 7th generation, Kaby Lake CPU. They are an older model, so you could save some money in this department. Ideally, the CPU will be the newest 8th generation or Coffee Lake. It’s got more power than the 7th and delivers a higher level of performance all around. You don’t need the 8th generation, but it’s a good idea to get the latest model.

With the advance in technology, the 9th generation processors are already entering the market. Since it’s still new, we recommend a cautionary approach when purchasing a laptop with a 9th gen chip to make sure it hasn’t had any technical issues. If it has good reviews and is within your budget, then definitely purchase. You will find out information about individual laptop speeds in our reviews down below.

Graphics Card

Some may say that the graphics card is the most crucial part of your gaming laptop. For gaming on a PC, they can upgrade individual components within the body of their computers. They will purchase a computer with stock components. Then they can upgrade each part individually to the one of their choosing, making the whole build customizable. With laptops, you rarely have that luxury, so you will have to choose one with the GPU you want already installed.

If you’re looking at the specs, any laptop with Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti, 1080, 1070, 1060, or 1050 graphics cards is the older of the models. Though they still perform pretty well. If you want the most up to date and current graphics card, then keep an eye for the GeForce RTX. These cards come at a higher cost but have additional features compared to the older ones, and you can find them within the $1500 budget.

Laptop Screen

Laptop screens have gotten much better quality over the last few years, hitting full-HD resolutions at 1920×1080. The main things you want to keep an eye for are higher contrast ratio, more extensive color range, and IPS panels, which provide a more comprehensive range of view that maintains quality at all angles.

Many laptops will try to sell you on 300cd screen brightness, but it’s unnecessary. What’s more important is the contrast ratio. Another buzz phrase companies will use is ‘resolution that is better than high def.’ While this sounds great, most graphics cards can’t keep up the extreme resolution anyway and will result in low frame rates. You’re better off with a standard high-resolution screen that still provides fantastic quality and detailing with seamless frame rates.

Screens with glare can be frustrating while you’re playing games. Always moving your screen, so it doesn’t reflect light gets old quick. Luckily, it’s becoming a lot easier and more affordable to find anti-glare screens on the market, so keep an eye for that.

If you can find a screen with a high refresh rate, then go for it, as it will offer you a slicker overall visual experience.

Storage

While a decent storage drive won’t make your games operate any faster, it can shorten the loading time between levels. Storage will improve your overall experience for booting up, opening/saving files, and launching programs. We advise a solid-state hard drive, and it never hurts to have a new spacious hard drive just for gaming. Games can take up a ton of space on your drive, so the more storage, the better.

The two components that contribute to high performance are RAM and HDD or SSD storage. Where RAM is concerned, you’ll want to find a computer that has at least 8GBs of RAM minimum. SSD storage is your best bet, but a hybrid SSD / HDD is also a decent option.

Audio

As a laptop gamer, you may play all your games wearing headsets or at least headphones. This trend began to block out the noisy sound of the laptop running sound. Now that technology has improved, and laptops are quiet, you might get some use out of the laptop’s speakers. It will not be as good as an external speaker, but the quality is improving.

Battery Life

If you’re using a gaming laptop in place of a PC, then battery life may not be a huge concern for you. Likely you will have it stationary on your desk, and it can be plugged in at all times. However, if you use this as a portable gaming center, then battery life is essential. A laptop’s standard battery life with drain much quicker when you’re running high-def gaming software. However, many of the laptops on our list have shown some incredible battery life potential.

Do You Need to Spend $1500?

The more budget you have, the more features you can get on your gaming laptop. You can get a basic model that will run perfectly well for under $1000. But a pricier model will deliver a higher performance graphics system and overall faster speeds. If you plan to use any additional large applications, like video editing programs, then you will need the highest rate possible. It will probably set you back closer to $1500.

With $1500 you can get yourself a top-tier gaming laptop. For that price, it will fulfill your requirements for the most immersive gaming experience possible on a laptop. But $1500 is still a lot of cash to throw around on any old gaming laptop. You want to make sure you’re investing in one that is the best your money can buy.

That’s where we come in. We’ve done our research, so you don’t have to, and chosen the top 10 best gaming laptops you can get for under $1500. We’ve reviewed them all so you can decide for yourself which one is worth purchasing.

Conclusion

As a gamer in the market for a laptop, you want the best you can get within your $1500 budget. You now know what specs and features to look for and have ten laptop options to get you started.

With prices getting more affordable, it’s an exciting time for the gaming community. With $1500 you can get a high-quality laptop that will deliver an immersive and more enjoyable gaming experience.

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New Donegal digital hub opens doors to local start-ups and entrepreneurs

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Stranorlar’s new digital hub will provide local workers with hotdesks, reliable internet connectivity, access to local supports and more.

A new digital hub has opened today (17 September) in Stranorlar in Co Donegal. DigiHub at the Base Enterprise Centre aims to support the growth of ICT and digital businesses in Donegal.

The hub will provide the area’s workers, start-ups and entrepreneurs with hotdesk and workspaces on flexible arrangements, as well as office units of various sizes, training facilities and a range of meeting rooms.

The DigiHub was developed as part of the Digiwest programme with funding from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Connected Hubs Fund, which was launched earlier this year to help promote remote working around the country. The hub is also supported by Donegal County Council and the Western Development Commission.

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The development of digital hubs in rural areas is part of Our Rural Future, the Government’s five-year strategy to revitalise towns and villages, promote remote working and ensure balanced regional development.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphries, TD, who launched the new Donegal facility today, said she hoped the hub would entice digital entrepreneurs to move to the Stranorlar area.

“As we phase out restrictions put in place during Covid-19, it’s more relevant than ever to invest in co-working spaces for those who wish to remain in their home counties and avoid long commutes to Dublin and larger cities,” she added.

“The launch of today’s hub in the heart of Stranorlar highlights the appetite for hybrid working in regional Ireland to remain. This fine facility is one of four digital hubs along the western seaboard that received almost €650,000 under my Department’s Rural Regeneration Development Fund.

“All four of these hubs are members of the Connected Hubs initiative, which is the department’s platform of mapping together all of the hubs across the country so that they belong to one single network.”

The Connected Hubs network currently has more than 140 members nationwide.

The Stranorlar hub, which received €67,ooo in funding, will have 23 desks available for short-term and casual hire, while the hub’s offices can accommodate more than 20 tenants. Business units will be made available for permanent hire with the capacity to accommodate an additional 50 tenants.

The hub’s range of supports for start-ups will include one-to-one business mentoring, as well as access to mentoring through a network of support businesses via the Ballybofey and Stranorlar Chamber of Commerce.

It will also provide workers with networking and informal learning opportunities, promotion on its social media channels and it will offer them information on agencies and organisations for assistance.

Internet access, which is a key concern for many remote workers living in rural areas, will be provided by Siro, a joint venture by the ESB and Vodafone to provide homes and businesses with fibre-optic gigabit connectivity.

Siro’s partnership with DigiHub in Stranorlar will bring the total number of remote working hubs around the country using its service to 16.

Kieran Doherty, chair of Basicc, the local social enterprise that manages the Base Enterprise Centre, said: “In order for the area to flourish, we have to be able to connect to any part of the world instantly and gigabit connectivity means that we have the same world-class broadband that is available in international hubs like Tokyo or Singapore.”

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Teenage girls, body image and Instagram’s ‘perfect storm’ | Instagram

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Emily started using Instagram when she was in her mid-teens and found it helpful at first. She used the photo-sharing app to follow fitness influencers, but what began as a constructive relationship with the platform spiralled into a crisis centred on body image. At 19 she was diagnosed with an eating disorder.

“I felt like my body wasn’t good enough, because even though I did go to the gym a lot, my body still never looked like the bodies of these influencers,” says Emily, now a 20-year-old a student who is in recovery.

Emily, who preferred not to use her real name, uses Instagram sparingly now. She is one of many Instagram users whose suffering came to prominence this week with revelations that the platform’s owner, Facebook, seemed to know it was damaging teenage girls’ mental health.

According to internal research leaked to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the app has made body image issues worse for one in three girls and in one Facebook study of teenagers in the UK and the US, more than 40% of Instagram users who said they felt “unattractive” said the feeling began while using the app.

Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide and an estimated 30 million in the UK, with Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande among the accounts with hundreds of millions of followers between them. In the UK, the Love Island couple Liam Reardon and Millie Court have already raced to a combined following of nearly 3 million since winning the 2021 title.

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande has more than 250 million Instagram followers. Photograph: John Shearer/Getty Images for the Recording Academy

Two in five girls (40%) aged 11 to 16 in the UK say they have seen images online that have made them feel insecure or less confident about themselves. This increases to half (50%) in girls aged 17 to 21, according to research by Girlguiding in its annual girls’ attitudes survey.

Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology at the department of media and communications, LSE, describes adolescence for teenage girls as an “arc” that tends to begin with the staple experiences of interest in pets, painting or playing with younger siblings, through to the more confident young woman ready to face the world. But it is the experience in the middle of that parabola that represents a particular challenge, and where Instagram can be most troubling.

“It is at that point where they are assailed with many answers to their dilemmas and a prominent answer at the moment is that it might be what they look like, that it matters what they bought,” says Livingstone, who next week is due to give evidence to MPs and peers scrutinising the draft UK online safety bill, which imposes a duty of care on social media companies to protect users from harmful content.

Facebook’s in-depth research into the photo-sharing app stated that Instagram had a deeper effect on teenage girls because it focused more on the body and lifestyle, compared with TikTok’s emphasis on performance videos such as dancing, and Snapchat’s jokey face features. “Social comparison is worse on Instagram,” said the Facebook study. The leaked research pointed to the app’s Explore page, where an algorithm tailors the photos and videos that a user sees, potentially creating a spiral of harmful content.

“Aspects of Instagram exacerbate each other to create a perfect storm,” said the research.

Livingstone says a key feature of the online safety bill will be its provisions on regulating the algorithms that constantly tailor and tweak what you view according to your perceived needs and tastes – and can push teenage girls into that vortex of esteem-damaging content. “There is a lot to be done about algorithms and AI [artificial intelligence].”

Beeban Kidron, the crossbench peer who sits on the joint committee into the online safety bill and was behind the recent introduction of a children’s privacy code, says Ofcom, the UK communications watchdog, will have a vital role in scrutinising algorithms.

“The value in algorithmic oversight for regulators, is that the decisions that tech companies make will become transparent, including decisions like FB took to allow Instagram to target teenage girls with images and features that ended in anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Algorithmic oversight is the key to society wrestling back some control.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says the bill will address those concerns. “As part of their duty of care, companies will need to mitigate the risks of their algorithms promoting illegal or harmful content, particularly to children. Ofcom will have a range of powers to ensure they do this, including the ability to request information and enter companies’ premises to access data and equipment.”

Liam Reardon and Millie Court
Liam Reardon and Millie Court have a combined Instagram following of 3 million since winning Love Island 2021. Photograph: Matt Frost/ITV/Rex/Shutterstock

For others, there is a wider issue of educating the young how to navigate a world dominated by social media. Deana Puccio, co-founder of the Rap project, which visits schools across the UK and abroad to discuss issues such as consent, online and offline safety and building confidence in body image and self-esteem, says the bill should be accompanied by a wider education drive.

“We, parents, educators, politicians need to equip our young people with the tools, the analytical skills to make healthy choices for themselves. Because they will get access to whatever they want to. They are better at navigating the online world than we are.”

Puccio adds that teenagers should be encouraged to make their social media posts reflect a more realistic vision of the world. “We need to start building up people’s confidence to post real-life ups and downs.”

The head of Instagram risked fanning criticism of the app on Thursday with comments that compared social media’s impact on society to that of cars. “We know that more people die than would otherwise because of car accidents, but by and large, cars create way more value in the world than they destroy. And I think social media is similar,” said Adam Mosseri.

Facebook referred the Guardian to a blogpost by Karina Newton, the head of public policy at Instagram, who said the internal research showed “our commitment to understanding complex and difficult issues young people may struggle with, and informs all the work we do to help those experiencing these issues”.

The Instagram revelations came as part of a WSJ investigation into Facebook, in which the newspaper revealed that Facebook gives high-profile users special treatment, that changes to its news feed algorithm in 2018 made the platform’s users angrier and more divisive, and that employees had warned Facebook was being used by drug cartels and human traffickers in developing countries.

Responding to the algorithm and drug cartel allegations, Facebook said divisions had existed in society long before its platform appeared and that it had a “comprehensive strategy” for keeping people safe in countries where there was a risk of conflict and violence.

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Apple, Google yank opposition voting strategy app from Russian software stores • The Register

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A tactical-voting app built by allies of Vladimir Putin’s jailed political opponent Alexei Navalny is now unavailable in Russian Apple and Google app stores following threats of fines from the Kremlin.

According to state-owned news agency TASS, Russian lawmaker Andrei Klimov told reporters on Thursday that the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office sent statutory notices to Google and Apple ordering a takedown of the Navalny app on the grounds it was collecting personal data of Russian citizens and sought to interfere in the nation’s elections. Refusal to do so would result in penalties.

“The app particularly deliberately and illegally spreads election campaign materials in the interests of some candidates vying for positions in elective agencies or against the interests of such,” Klimov said.

Apple and Google, which say they comply with local laws where they operate, removed the app in Russia, willingly or unwillingly contributing to what Navalny’s supporters called political censorship in Russia. The app remains available outside the country. Those in Russia who already have the application may still be able to use it.

With the app stores out of the way, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov took time to throw some shade at the US government. “We have reason to believe that the US authorities are also not completely helpless on this particular issue,” Lavrov stated.

President Putin’s allies are already sowing seeds of doubt in the election process, claiming foreign agents in election monitoring org Golos are plotting to discredit the results, despite the expectation that Putin’s United Russia party will remain in power.

The election takes place from September 17, and will run for three days. Many cities are electing lawmakers to the State Duma – the lower house of parliament – via electronic voting. Putin himself will vote online. Also included in the election are the selection of nine Russian region heads and 39 regional parliaments. It’s an important election for Putin as he would rather retain tight control of the country as the 2024 presidential poll approaches.

The verboten app in question tells users who to tactically vote for, out of those running on behalf of as many as 14 parties, to prevent Kremlin-favored candidates from winning. It uses a system dubbed Smart Voting that was devised by Navalny. However, the vast majority of anti-Putin candidates have already been blocked from running, including those associated with Navalny.

Yesterday, Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption organization that developed the app, tweeted what appears to be an email from Apple explaining the reasoning for removing the application: prosecutors claimed the software would interfere with the elections, and that the foundation had been deemed an extremist org. As such the app is illegal in Russia. Its website was earlier this month blocked in the country by authorities.

Zhdanov called the removal a “mockery of common sense,” and a “huge mistake.” A tweet today from Zhdanov said in Russian:

Navalny – leader of the opposition Russia of the Future party, a Putin critic, and an anti-corruption campaigner – suffered Novichok nerve-agent poisoning in 2020 that he accused the president of orchestrating. The Kremlin denied any involvement, though it did arrest him when he returned to Russia after seeking medical treatment in Berlin for the poisoning. While receiving this treatment outside of Russia, he violated his parole regarding a 2014 embezzlement conviction – which he claims was brought against him for political reasons – and was sentenced to 30 months behind bars.

His poisoning and detention was condemned by the West, and sparked anti-Kremlin protests in Russia. In a response to that unrest, the Russian government throttled Twitter in March and ordered social networks to delete posts related to any “participation in unauthorized mass events” as they deemed them illegal adolescent activities.

Google received a $40,700 fine for failing to fully comply.

Today, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal body that monitors, controls and censors Russian mass media, announced it had sent a letter to Twitter to demand why Moscow’s City Election Committee account had been restricted. The missive accused Twitter of foreign interference in the election. ®



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