Proposed anti-bullying legislation will target social media giants

The Federal Government is proposing to introduce legislation that will target the publication of offensive or harassing material aimed at children on social media websites.  

The anticipated legislation (once passed) will establish the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner (Commissioner) to administer the new legislation.  It is currently proposed  that the Commissioner will have the power to:

  • issue take down notices for offensive material to individuals and social media websites;
  • require a person make an apology; and
  • refer serious matters to the police.

The legislation is expected to include a two (2) stage monitoring process for the removal of offensive material published on social media:

  • firstly, a social media website will be provided with the opportunity to adhere to take-down notices issued by the Commissioner; and
  • secondly, failure to comply with orders of the Commissioner will result in the imposition of financial penalties.

It is proposed that fines of up to $A17,000 per day could be issued to social networking websites that repeatedly fail to adhere to take-down notices issued by the Commissioner.

The legislation plans to be a real incentive for social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to review content and take active steps to remove offensive material that fuel online bullying.

We will provide further information on this legislation as it comes to light.


Australian Government, Department of Communication, “Enhancing Online Safety for Children”, January 2014

Further information

If you need further information about social media law and how it may impact on your organisation, please contact us for an obligation free and confidential discussion.

Malcolm Burrows - Dundas Lawyers




Malcolm Burrows B.Bus.,MBA.,LL.B.,LL.M.,MQLS.
Legal Practice Director
Telephone: (07) 3221 0013 Mobile: 0419 726 535


This article contains general commentary only.  You should not rely on the commentary as legal advice. Specific legal advice should be obtained to ascertain how the law applies to your particular circumstances

Send this to a friend