eSafety Commissioner take down scheme addresses social media harm, but not the cause: Call for Regulation


Forcing social media giants to remove harmful abuse against Australians needs to be matched with meaningful regulation that reins in the tech platforms, according to Responsible Technology Australia.

Executive director Chris Cooper said Australia could be a leader on addressing the harms of social media, but it needed to introduce measures that prevent the platforms perpetuating and profiting from harms.

“Pulling down harmful content within 24 hours is good, but we need to match it with common sense reform that puts the onus on the platforms to act in public interest,” said Mr Cooper.

“We can no longer accept the user beware model. Social media is too pervasive and influential on our society.

“We know user reporting doesn’t work. We need an independent social media watchdog enforcing standards Australians expect. We shouldn’t leave it to Silicon Valley executives to decide what’s abuse or what’s harmful for Australians.

“Australian authorities and the Australian public should be able to answer questions like: What kind of content is being amplified by these platforms? Who made it? What kind of demographics are consuming it?

“Tech giants have created platforms that produce both mega-profits and serious societal problems. If they accept the profits, they must also accept the oversight.”