Snapchat Avoids New Australian Cyber Bullying Regulation

Snapchat will escape new regulations introduced by the Australian government to tackle cyber bullying as it is considered a smaller social media platform based overseas.


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Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, Paul Fletcher says the government will to take an informal approach to handling offensive or damaging content on Snapchat rather than strict rules.

The new law, if passed, will establish an Office of Children’s E-Safety Commissioner and will pay particular attention to Facebook and Twitter, who, while being US companies, have considerable user numbers in Australia and employees in the country. Snapchat on the other hand does not.

The rules will create a tiered system for removing objectionable content. Companies placed in Tier One will be expected to “voluntarily” act on take down requests and if they do not comply, they will face direct requests from the commissioner to remove content.

Tier Two is considered more serious. Companies will be placed here if they repeatedly ignore legitimate requests and could face legal action.

“By building relationships with overseas-based sites, the commissioner is likely in many cases to be able to achieve the desired policy intention,” said Fletcher.

Australia has been going back and forth on effectively policing cyber bullying and earlier this year ruled out implementing prison sentences, which the UK and its neighbor New Zealand have indeed done.