Australian ‘Cyber-Safety’ Commissioner Panned By Google, Facebook, Twitter

Australian ‘Cyber-Safety’ Commissioner Panned By Google, Facebook, Twitter

The Coalition Government thinks that the internet is a dangerous place. A place that needs to be fenced off from our kids so that they don’t stub their proverbial toes on the big, bad online world out there. They want a Government-appointed “cyber-commissioner” (kill me now) to help keep kids safe on big social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Wouldn’t you know it, though: Facebook, Twitter and Google all think that’s a stupid idea.

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In a submission to the Government’s public consultation into keeping kids safe, the big social players who have offices in Australia roundly condemned the proposal for a Government-appointed online safety commissioner via their local industry body, the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA).

The submission says that the proposal should be “reconsidered”. As reported in the SMH:

A policy that clamps down heavily on the things that young people can say to each other on larger responsible sites has potential to drive young people to engage in risk-taking behaviour on services that have less well-developed protections in place and are not covered by the legislated scheme.

Given the government’s commitment to de-regulation and reduction in red tape and lack of evidence that existing mechanisms are not operating as intended, we respectfully submit that the government should reconsider the proposal to introduce legislation to take down content and rather work to extend [existing protocols] to apply to more services.

Facebook also argues in a separate submission that the definition of “harmful content” is much to broad and could be open to abuse.

Read more on the Sydney Morning Herald.