Submissions are now open for Australians to have their say in a Select House Committee putting big tech under the microscope as it examines toxic material on social media platforms and the dangers this poses to the well-being of Australian children.
The inquiry, which will be chaired by Robertson MP Lucy Wicks, builds on the world-leading legislation the Morrison Government announced earlier last week to unmask anonymous online trolls in Australia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce encouraged Australians to make a submission to the inquiry if they had concerns around the behaviour of big tech.
“This is something that is of the utmost importance and an issue I have driven in Federal politics, in fact I am currently in Washington to witness the Federal Senate Inquiry into this issue, but as I have contracted the Omicron variant of COVID I am in isolation and have lost my opportunity.”
“But the parents of New England haven’t lost their opportunity to be a part of this and I know so many mothers will do, because of the fear of their daughters, and sometimes their sons, fighting the phantom that is anonymously bullying their children towards a mental health risk,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said this inquiry will give organisations and individuals an opportunity to air their concerns, and for big tech to account for its own conduct.
“Australia has led the world in regulating social media, establishing the world’s first dedicated online safety watchdog in 2015. In June this year we passed the tough new Online Safety Act which will give our eSafety Commissioner even stronger powers to direct the removal of online abuse,” Minister Fletcher said.
“So this inquiry will be a very important opportunity to examine the practices of these companies—and whether more needs to be done.”
To make a submission: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Social_Media_and_Online_Safety/SocialMediaandSafety. Submissions to the committee will close on 12 January 2022.