ACMA welcomes DIGI's complaints portal

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 13 October, 2021

ACMA welcomes DIGI's complaints portal

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has welcomed the launch of the Digital Industry Group’s (DIGI) new public complaints portal as a positive step towards accountability in the digital industry.

The new portal will support digital platforms’ compliance with the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation, according to ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

“Australians are deeply concerned about disinformation and misinformation, and in particular the spread of COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation online,” O’Loughlin said.

“Digital platforms must take responsibility for what is on their sites and take action when harmful or misleading content appears. They have committed to this voluntary code and now is the time to make good on their word and address community concerns.”

The new code complaints portal will enable users of platforms that have signed on to the code to submit complaints if they suspect these companies are not complying with their obligations under the code to remove misinformation that could be harmful to Australian consumers.

Current signatories to the code are Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Redbubble, TikTok and Twitter.

The code was introduce in February to address the concerns of ACMA and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission around online misinformation. ACMA had oversight over development of the industry code.

“A responsive complaints-handling system with robust governance is a critical component of an effective self-regulatory regime, particularly in the online environment,” said O’Loughlin.

“However, we do have concerns that complaints about non-compliance with opt-in commitments will be treated differently to those about mandatory commitments. We will be watching how this works in practice and whether expanding the committee’s remit will be necessary.”

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