Tony Abbott, the Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives, has vowed to establish an ”e-Safety Commissioner” to try to stamp out online bullying and end the ”hands-off” approach adopted by social media companies like Facebook.”We are determined to ensure that as a country, as a society, as a culture, there is zero tolerance of cyber bullying,” Mr Abbott said. ”We don’t accept bullying in the schoolyard; we can’t accept bullying online.”

In Sydney, Abbott and communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull  launched a Coalition discussion paper on tackling the online bullying of children. The paper proposed the introduction of a co-operative regulatory scheme that would require large social media platforms like Facebook to establish processes to manage complaints about material ”targeted at and likely to cause harm to an Australian child”.

If a complaint was not answered within a short period of time, for example 48 hours, the complaint would be sent to an ”e-Safety Commissioner”, who would have the power to compel large social media companies to remove the material. ”We hear too many concerning instances where complaints are not responded to and we believe the scheme will give the community the certainty it would expect,” Mr Abbott said.

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