Australia launches new online safety legislation to protect Australians from “malicious” online abuse


Australia’s new online security measures came into effect on Sunday. This means that social media platforms may be forced to remove problematic posts and, in some cases, identify anonymous contributors.

Wide range Online safety lawWas passed in 2021 and grants new authority to eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant. She said the new rules would make online service providers “more responsible” for the security of those who use the service and for the protection of Australians experiencing serious cyber-abuse.

Under the law, Australian adults and children can report harm online to the commissioner. After the deletion notice is issued, the platform must delete the reported post within 24 hours. Otherwise, you will be fined up to 500 penalty units. Up to $ 111,000 ($ 79,400) for individuals and up to $ 555,000 ($ 39,000) for businesses.

The new changes will force major tech companies to develop new code to regulate illegal and restricted “serious toxics.” This includes content that indicates child sexual abuse or terrorist activity, as well as content that is considered inappropriate for children, such as high-impact violence or pornography.

In addition, eSafety can require social media providers to consistently report how they are responding to online harm under a new benchmark called Basic Online Safety Expectations.

“This scheme is not intended to regulate hurt emotions, purely unpopular damage, bad online reviews, strong opinions or jokes,” Grant said. “Serious harm can pose a real threat, actually endanger people, be overly malicious, or be relentless.”

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The Big Tech Giants logo will appear on your tablet on October 1, 2019. (Denis Charlet / AFP via Getty Images)

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told Seven Network on Monday that the new law “protects Australians subject to malicious online abuse” and that cyberbullying victims want to “remove material as soon as possible” To do. “

This is reflected in Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s statement that “the obsessive discomfort must be suppressed, and it is the people who make money from it that must be suppressed.”

“The premise should be on the people who make money: Facebook and Instagram,” Joyce said.

But Labor backbencher Joel Fitzgibbon is wondering if the new law will have a big impact.

“The impact of bullying on the playground is immediate wherever it happens, but in the playground you are kicked out of the playground,” he said. “This isn’t about getting someone out of social media. I don’t know if it’s legally or technically possible.”

Meanwhile, Matt Berriman, chairman of Mental Health Australia, argued that “very simply, big tech and social media companies will be more profitable than people.”

He told the committee on Friday:

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, should pay attention to whether a number of regulations are effective or necessary in its submission to Congress, given the recent history of “aggressive” rulemaking. Is. “

“Policymakers must bear the risk of overlapping, overlapping, and inconsistent rules between different laws,” the submission states.

AAP contributed to this article.