5.4 The committee recommends that the
Australian Government consult state and territory governments, non‑government
organisations, and other relevant stakeholders, to develop and publicise a
clear definition of cyberbullying that recognises the breadth and complexity of
5.7 The committee recommends that Australian
governments approach cyberbullying primarily as a social and public health
issue. With this in mind, the committee recommends that Australian governments
consider how they can further improve the quality and reach of preventative and
early intervention measures, including education initiatives, both by
government and non‑government organisations, to reduce the incidence of
cyberbullying among children and adults.
5.12 The committee recommends that the Senate not
legislate to increase penalties for cyberbullying offences committed by minors
beyond the provisions already in place.
5.13 Noting the serious harms that cyberbullying
can cause, the committee recommends that Australian governments ensure that:
general public has a clear awareness and understanding of how existing criminal
offences can be applied to cyberbullying behaviours;
enforcement authorities appropriately investigate and prosecute serious
cyberbullying complaints under either state or Commonwealth legislation,
coordinate their investigations across jurisdictions where appropriate, and
make the process clear for victims of cyberbullying, and
exists between state, territory and federal laws in relation to cyberbullying.
5.15 The committee recommends that the Australian
Government consider increasing the maximum penalty for using a carriage service
to menace, harass, or cause offence under section 474.17 of the Criminal
Code Act 1995 from three years' imprisonment to five years' imprisonment.
5.22 The committee recommends that the Australian
that the Office of the eSafety Commissioner is adequately resourced to fulfil
all its functions, taking into account the volume of complaints it considers;
to the public the role of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, including the
cyberbullying complaints scheme;
improvements to the process by which the Office of the eSafety Commissioner can
access relevant data from social media services hosted overseas, including
account data, that would assist the eSafety Office to apply the end‑user
notice scheme, and
whether amendments to the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 relating to
the eSafety Commissioner and the cyberbullying complaints scheme would be
beneficial, and in particular, consider:
the cyberbullying complaints scheme to include complaints by adults;
the application of the tier scheme by amending the definitions of 'social media
service' and 'relevant electronic service', and
the basic online safety requirements for social media services.
5.27 The committee recommends that the Australian
Government place and maintain regulatory pressure on social media platforms to
both prevent and quickly respond to cyberbullying material on their platforms,
including through the use of significant financial penalties where insufficient
progress is achieved.
5.28 The committee recommends that the Australian
Government legislate to create a duty of care on social media platforms to
ensure the safety of their users.
5.31 The committee recommends that the Australian
Government consider requiring social media platforms to publish relevant data,
including data on user complaints and the platforms' responses, as specified by
the eSafety Commissioner and in a format specified by the eSafety Commissioner.
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