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Australian safety watchdog fines social platform X $385,000 for not tackling child abuse content

Australian safety watchdog fines social platform X $385,000 for not tackling child abuse content

Australia’s online safety watchdog has fined X — the social media platform formerly known as Twitter — 610,500 Australian dollars ($385,000) for failing to fully explain how it tackled child sexual exploitation content

Australia’s online safety watchdog, the eSafety Commission, has imposed a hefty 610,500 Australian dollars ($385,000) fine on Elon Musk-owned X, formerly Twitter, for its apparent failure to provide an explanation of how it deals with child sexual exploitation content. The government in Canberra has strengthened its efforts to ensure online safety and X has been its first target, according to a news report.

The eSafety Commission issued legal transparency notices earlier this year to X and other social media platforms, said the report by the Associated Press. These notices inquired about their strategies for combating the rising concerns of child sexual exploitation, sexual extortion, and the live streaming of child sexual abuse.

Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner, said that both X (Twitter) and Google failed to meet the commission's expectations by not adequately responding to several critical questions. X emerged as the most delinquent party, providing no answers to certain inquiries. Notably, the company remained mum on the number of staff remaining on the trust and safety team, responsible for preventing harmful and illegal content, since Musk's takeover.

Inman Grant pointed out, "If you've got a basic H.R. (human resources) system or payroll, you'll know how many people are on each team." This lack of transparency raised concerns regarding the platform's commitment to addressing these serious issues effectively.