Twitter Holds Out On Australian Government

The Australian Government is taking the fight to the so-called "trolls" this week, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that social networks and tech giants have signed onto a plan that would speed up the response process to cyber-bullying incidents online. Everyone but Twitter, it seems, is in on the party.

Speaking at a school in Western Sydney today, PM Julia Gillard announced a new training module for school-age children to teach them about cyber-bullying. The Prime Minister also announced that Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and Google had all signed onto a plan to respond faster to cyber-bullying incidents. Twitter, however, is missing from the agreement, and Prime Minister Gillard wants that to change.

"It's on Twitter that so much of the damage has been done by trolls. I call on Twitter...to embrace these guidelines," she said today.

Much was made of the so-called "troll" problem a few months ago when the Daily Telegraph launched a ridiculous campaign to "Stop The Trolls". Ever since then, trolls have been on the agenda.

Does the phrase "Australian Prime Minister demands action on Twitter trolls" sound as ridiculous to you as it does to me?

Here's the social media protocol announced by the government today in its own words:

The Cooperative Arrangement for Complaints Handling on Social Networking Sites commits companies, such as Facebook, Google (YouTube), Yahoo! and Microsoft, to:
• Set out clear information about its acceptable use guidelines;
• Undertake education and awareness raising activities about what behaviour is acceptable and not acceptable online;
• Have a single point of contact for Government; and
• Have robust processes in place for reviewing and acting on complaints,
The Protocol is another step in the Government’s ongoing work targeting antisocial behaviour online like cyberbullying.

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