This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social and is part of the “Be Safe. Be Social” series.

Australia is taking a new approach in the fight against online bullying. Australian kids and parents will now be able to ask the government to remove humiliating posts which are made on social media about them.

The Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner will work with social media platforms to take down material which is deemed to be of a bullying nature. Cyberbullying has become a big problem in general online over the past number of years and the problem only seems to be getting worse at the moment.

Cyberbullying not only takes place over social media, SMS messages, email and online games where users can communicate with each other via a messaging platform are all ways in which teenagers are receiving online abuse at the moment. It can have a big effect on teenagers lives as they can receive online hate 24/7.

So how does the new Australian system actually work?

Before making a complaint the office recommends that the victim, “block, unfriend or unfollow” the bully and talk to an adult. If the social media platform does not take the offending material down then a complaint can be made to the office which will be investigated and they will work to get the content removed.

The material in question is content which is deemed to be seriously threatening, intimidating, harassing or humiliating in nature and can be posted on a wide range of different platforms.

The new regime has a number of Tier 1 companies such as Twitter and Facebook among others, these companies have an established relationship with the office whereby material can be voluntarily and effectively removed.

Companies not part of the Tier 1 system can face civil penalties of a $17,000 (Australian Dollars) per day if they fail or refuse to take offending material down.

In addition to this new regime, there are also plans in place to work with schools, kids and parents to help make Australian kids and teenagers safer online. Tackling cyberbullying is more than just taking down the offensive material, we need to change the current culture of why people insist on bullying others in an online environment.


 

About The Author

Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis. He has an Advanced Diploma in Psychology and a Diploma in Digital Marketing And Social Media. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here. Or you can drop Mark an email at, [email protected]

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