back to article Australia to social media: self-censor or face AU$17,000 FINES

Australia's long-threatened plan to compel social networks to remove bullying material directed at children has emerged, complete with a naughty corner for networks who don't play nice with others. The bill seeks to ensure that all social networks operating in Australia implement “basic online safety requirements” including …

  1. Persona non grata

    This is not entirely correct:

    "Australia has a long history of attempts to censor the internet, most of which look ridiculous to those in other nations"

    They also look ridiculous to those of us in Australia.

    But that's what happens when you've got a political system where politicians rather than the people get to choose the other politicians (Yay party systems gaming democracy!) contrary to it's supposed intent.

    At least this only looks like yet another law only to be used when politically convenient rather than ubiquitously.

    1. Levente Szileszky

      Re: This is not entirely correct:

      Yes, it always shocks me just what kind of PoS scumbags can get regularly elected in Australia. I cannot believe how utterly subservient they are as soon as they receive a request from a foreign (!) power, how quickly they willing to simply go against their own countries' interests, even to the point when they completely abandon their own citizens (!) abroad... it's really shocking to me how cynical, disgusting and totally spineless subsequent Australian governments turned out to be - and I just don't understand why people keep voting for them...

  2. LaeMing Silver badge

    How does this affect users/contributors of distributed social networks?

    Like Diaspora et. al.?

    I assume since they are not corporations, politicians don't realise such things exist.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Very nice

    Will they also hand out badges to people " I am not a bully"...with little flowers and smilies on it.

    FFS it's time for these damed politicians to grow up.. NO ONE NEEDS to use social networking, it is a personal choice to sign up and use it, and we all know the inherent dangers.....

    We are meatbags and from day one on this damned planet we have played at the "Survival of the strongest" game.. Social networking is no different.

    If you don't want bullied, don't use it or invent your own "private" network....

    Bullies will not go away.......I can handle a fair amount of flak from others which someone else might not be capable of. Whereas I don't feel bullied you might... There is no utimate definition of what a Bully is and it is simply impossible to make rules about such practices.

    It existed when I was at school and I believe that it still exists regardless of what silly rules have been put in place.... Unfortunately it is human nature that is simply not going to go away....

    Understand what it is, learn to define what it means to you and more importantly learn how to avoid it... basic rules of life.....

    1. Snorlax Silver badge

      Re: Very nice

      "It existed when I was at school and I believe that it still exists regardless of what silly rules have been put in place.... Unfortunately it is human nature that is simply not going to go away...."

      So what? Teachers were allowed to beat children until relatively recently too. That doesn't make it ok.

      "If you don't want bullied, don't use it or invent your own "private" network...."

      Trite comment, and of course it's highly likely that a bullied child can invent his/her own social network as you stupidly suggest. Not. Most children who are bullied don't get a choice in the matter, offline or online.

      Maybe you could deal with whatever bullying issues you have before giving us your wisdom on the subject?

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Very nice

        Trite response on your behalf which far outweighs mine, you didn't even bother to try to make an alternative solution. Troll me not...

        If you understood my comment you can read behind the lines and get to the crux of the matter. People have to stop relying on others and get back to relying on themselves.

        This fucking nanny state attitude is really going too far. You cannot and will not change human nature, you may hide it or wrap it up in something else but you will not change it. Stop expecting others to take care of your problems.

        You're right, teachers can no longer hit children, so what do they do now, they throw them out the class. The child is now deprived of his eductation, great.. That's not really a solution now is it, and it certainely does not resolve the fact the the "child" is problematic in the first place, which is an issue that you as a parent must address.

        If you accept that your child can use social networks, then grow some balls and take responsibility for your actions. Teach your child instead of expecting it to be done for you.

        If your child can't create a social network for themselves then be a good parent and do it for them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Very nice @Khaptain

          Agreed, have a thumbs up.

          The "nanny's" need to shut up, keep to them selves and stay out of sight. (and NEVER have kids.)

          CHILDREN need to learn to respect those in charge, especially teachers and police if nothing else. A swift swat in the ass never hurt anyone but it damn sure defined who was the boss and who was in charge. And we never needed RITALIN, we needed attention and time. Both are cheap and solved more of the "unruliness" problem than drugs will EVER do.

          Lazy "Nanny's" (the whole "education" system) would rather create a huge future drug problem and set these kids up for failure in life. Then they make excuses for them and set them up with a mindset of entitlement.

          If you are going to allow your children to use a computer, expect that they will find bad stuff and use it as an opportunity to EXPLAIN to them what it is and why it's bad. My boys found all manner of things when they were in their teens and were easily checked on by reviewing browser history. They are married, have careers and kids of their own now. And they never lived in my basement.

          Children need to be allowed to GROW UP and not have the "Nanny's" compensating for their every dissapointment in life. We need to go back to the days when you were a man at 16 and learn personal responsibility instead of being a wimp or a malcontent.

          The phrase "Spare the rod and spoil the child" has never rung truer. And no, for the bleeding hearts out there, I used my hand and rather sparingly and they turned out just fine.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Very nice

      @Khaptain your mother smelt of elderberries.

  4. David Pollard

    Peer pressure?

    Where the internet differs from other areas of life is that it's relatively easy to be anonymous. In the playground there's a possibility that at least some of the others who see bullying may point out that it's not a particularly nice thing to do. On the 'net this peer pressure is largely absent.

    It's not easy to find solution, but it might make the world a little better if some of the less desirable aspects of human nature could be moderated.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Peer pressure?

      "In the playground there's a possibility that at least some of the others who see bullying may point out that it's not a particularly nice thing to do."

      What the hell playgrounds were you a part of as a kid? I sumbit that what you suggest is fantastically rare.

      Quite the converse, in fact: while kids will never stick up for another that is being bullied, the Internet is full of White Knights who will appear out of a portal and fire back at cyber-bullies with both barrels.

  5. nijam

    Out of interest, is there a definition of bullying which wouldn't also encompass this idiotic legislation?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No, you cannot. Politicans are the bullys you had in school.

  7. John Savard Silver badge


    From the headline, I was worried that Australia was going to expect sites like Facebook to review everything every user posts, to ensure it isn't bullying, before it can appear. That would have been highly problematic. But the actual measures cited in the article - having policies against bullying, and a working complaints mechanism - seem to me a perfectly reasonable minimum that any responsible social networking site should have.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reasonable? Who is....

      the arbitrator?

      Too many times I have seen you people take everything the wrong way and this is just a simple forum. If the Disney forum moderates the word God (even when used correctly) then who's to say what Farcebook will do. Somebody will step on someones rights somewhere.

      Who is even qualified to know the difference between sarcasm and bullying? Having a policy and complaint mechanisim means you have to take some responsibility for content AND context.

      And we all know THATS in short supply.

  8. -tim

    I'm glad no one has told the trolls

    So what happens when someone creates "" registered in Nigeria? Where will the fine be sent? I've noticed that more people in Australia using the Russian VK site since they don't trust facebook and it is even worse at targetting ads to the locals.

  9. Tim Roberts 1

    as a teacher

    I see cyber bullying as being a bit different to what I and others experienced at school 30+ years ago. The herd mentality - eg you're fat, ugly, black, smelly, spastic, etc etc - is not just in the schoolyard but is out there for your idiotic mates - and for that matter any fuckwit anywhere in the world - to copy , emulate and laugh at because nobody deletes it.

    In the past it was deleted by the new day (which may have been as unpleasant as the day before) but now, yesterday is still there for the fuckwits of this world to see, laugh at and contribute to.

    So yes, laws protecting people ( children) from social media bullies need to be there and need to be enforced. The trouble is no-one really knows what they should look like and who should enforce them.

    My 2c worth - keep the change

  10. Mussie (Ed)

    how about we just allow the victims of internet tough guys and gals a free punch in the face to said bullys for each post... mind you this should go both ways

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