In June 2021, the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth) came into force which requires media platforms and other websites to remove "abusive or bullying" content within 24 hours, failing which such entities may face fines of up to $111,000.00 for individuals and up to $555,000.00 for corporations.

New online safety laws implemented

The act gives administrative and executive powers to eSafety to protect adults and children against online abuses.

Under sections 6 to 9 of the Act, protections are afforded if abusive materials are provided on (i) a social media; or (ii) an eletronic service; or (iii) a designated internet service; and it is abusive if an ordinary reasonable person would conclude that (i) it is likely that the material was intended to have an effect of threat, intimation, harassment or humiliation, or if the material streams abhorrent violent conduct.

the Act also provides protection on the publication of intimate images and materials, in addition to existing legislations criminalising the distribution of intimate materials without consent.

Under Section 221, complaints and/or provision of materials and evidence to eSafety are protected by a general immunity from civil liabilities in most circumstances, thereby encouraging the active investigation and prosecution of the widespread behaviour of online abuses.

If you are a victim of online abuse, please contact us to explore your legal options.