Online Safety Act to protect children from cyber-bullying

Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Online Safety Act to protect children from cyber-bullying

The federal government’s Online Safety Act has now come into effect to help keep Australians safe online.

The Act includes a ‘cyber-abuse take-down scheme’ to protect adults, along with a strengthened cyber-bullying scheme to protect children.

The eSafety Commissioner now also has the authority to order platforms to remove the “worst of the worst” online content — including child sexual abuse material and terrorist content — no matter where it is hosted.

The Act also gives the eSafety Commissioner stronger information gathering and investigative powers to obtain identity information behind anonymous online accounts used to bully, abuse or exchange illegal content.

“As more Australians work, learn and conduct business online, the government will make sure that they can do so safely, and that perpetrators are being held accountable for abusive and threatening behaviour,” said Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher.

In addition, the Act puts the tech industry on notice, with Basic Online Safety Expectations setting a new benchmark for platforms to take responsibility in protecting Australians online.

“The internet has brought immense advantages, but also new risks, and Australians rightly expect the big tech companies to do more to make their products safer for users,” Fletcher said.

“Australians deserve to be able to use online platforms in the knowledge that they will be safe from vile and unacceptable online abuse, along with other dangers.”

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