Australian Government put Big Tech Companies on Notice to End Online Bullying
The latest incentive follows a ruling earlier this year with the introduction of the Online Safety Bill which gave sweeping new powers to the eSafety Commissioner that include forcing social media platforms to remove harmful content and reveal anonymous offenders so they can be prosecuted. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
The Australian government has recently opened public consultations on a set of basic online safety expectations (BOSE) which lay out a series of demands to social media platforms, internet providers and technology companies that outline how online communities expect to be kept safe.
Aside from core expectations that include taking actions to deal with longstanding harms such as cyberbullying or young people accessing violent material, there are a number of other expectations such as taking action against mob bullying behaviour and products for children that have the highest privacy and safety settings set as default.
Further expectations include:
- Providers take steps to prevent children accessing adult or R18+ content
- Digital services to more to prevent harmful material on anonymous accounts
- That providers take steps against cyber-bullying, non-consensual intimate images of a person and promotion, incitement or instruction in abhorrent violent conduct
- Providers to ensure users have clear access to make reports or complaints to services
The latest incentive follows a ruling earlier this year with the introduction of the Online Safety Bill which gave sweeping new powers to the eSafety Commissioner that include forcing social media platforms to remove harmful content and reveal anonymous offenders so they can be prosecuted.
“This is a clear indication of how committed the Australian government are to working with social media platforms and big tech companies to address the issues surrounding online bullying. The BOSE consultation is a valuable opportunity for the public let social media companies know how they expect to be protected and supported when problems arise.”
Dan Raisbeck, Co-founder, The Cybersmile Foundation
Australia’s eSafety Commissioner will also have the power to order big tech companies to report on how they are responding to these harms and issue fines of up to $555,000 if they don’t respond.
“We will always fight to protect all Australians, but especially children, from online harm and we expect big tech to step up and deliver on these expectations.”
The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communication, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts
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