Australia’s eSafety Commissioner issued social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) with an infringement notice today for $610,500, for falling short in tackling child sexual abuse and cooperating with a probe into anti-child abuse practices. According to an announcement by the eSafety Commissioner, X failed to respond to several key questions put to them, including the time it takes X to respond to reports of abuse and the measures it has in place to detect child sexual exploitation material.X’s non-compliance was considered to be serious by the eSafety Commissioner, with the company “failing to provide any response to some questions, leaving some sections entirely blank. In other instances…X provided a response that was otherwise incomplete and/or inaccurate.” X was also not found to have technology to detect grooming. During the change in ownership in October 2022, the proactive detection of child sexual exploitation material fell from 90% to 75%. However, this proactive detection rate has since improved. eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, said in the announcement that “we really can’t hope to have any accountability from the online industry in tackling this issue without meaningful transparency which is what these notices are designed to surface.”In February, X, along with other social media companies, were issued non-periodic reporting notices (or ‘transparency notice’) under section 56(2) of the Online Safety Act (Cth), that focused on child sexual exploitation and abuse. In June, the eSafety Commissioner issued another transparency notice to X, along with other companies. The notice required X to explain what measures it has taken to minimise online hate, including how it is enforcing its terms of use and hateful conduct policy. The notice was issued in response to an increased amount of complaints submitted in relation to hate speech. The eSafety Commissioner said that “eSafety received more complaints about online hate on Twitter in the past 12 months than any other platform.”In the latest announcement, Commissioner Grant said that “next year we will have industry codes and standards in place which work hand-in-hand with these Basic Online Safety Expectations transparency powers to ensure companies are living up to these responsibilities to protect children.”X has 28 days to comply with the eSafety Commissioner’s infringement notice. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *