Australia to commence monitoring of cyber bullying

Australia to start monitoring of online bullying against children

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Australian children will be able to request the removal of online bullying content on social media networks starting from July 1.

E-Safety Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon, will be taking complaints from children who claim to be bullied online, and will take necessary steps to pull down the associated content.  

Children or their parent-guardians will be able to lodge the complaints, which shall be followed by the investigation of the commissioner.

The process is made up of two measures. The first will apply mostly for large social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, which already have content removal options. This level will administer a more rapid removal process.     

The second measure will be enforced in cases where the social network site fails to comply with the order of removal for 12 months. The commissioner will then legally fine the social network with $13,100 (AU$17,000) per day for not taking necessary action.

Officials say Wednesday’s launch will be a soft one, and the formal launch will be in the weeks to come.

Children may begin filing complaints on the website from Wednesday onwards.

Meanwhile, New Zealand will soon pass laws that require sites to remove “harmful content.” Web-users will also be prohibited from sending or posting material that is considered to be “bullying” somebody else.

New Zealand will fine violators with $34,000 (NZ$50,000) for the individuals, and with $136,000 (NZ$200,000) for the companies. Imprisonment up to two years may also be a form of punishment for deliberate bullies.

"This bill will help stop cyberbullies and reduce the devastating impact their actions can have by simplifying the process for getting abusive material off the internet in a quick and proportionate way," says Minister for Justice Amy Adams.

TRTWorld and agencies