Why does this proposed legislation appear so soft? Because our Government knows all to well they will have no real legal authority to compel any international entity to act on such a legislative requirement. The response from organisations such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has always been, " We are not responsible for the actions of our users". And to a degree, I agree with that approach.
The Cyber Bullies of our world are the ones who should be targeted. However, I believe a much stronger onus must be accepted by these networks for the gutless activity that is occurring under their banner. Activity that seems so often to be simply ignored. So what is the answer? In my opinion, the onus must remain on the bully and action should be taken directly against them. Legislation needs to be introduced to have people held accountable for their actions. No I am not talking about throwing our teens in jail, but rather giving authorities in this state the ability to impose appropriate penalties depending on the level of bullying.
However, where it needs to change drastically is in regard to the level that our Social Networking Services (SNS) are obligated to cooperate with local authorities. None of our major SNS are run from this country and as such, they have no regard at all in liaising or answering international agencies requests on the identities of their users. This needs to change. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram refuse to supply anyone with information on their users, let alone law enforcement. Many WA Parents assume that a WA Police Officer can jump on the phone and ring Facebook (as an example) and they will provide all the information they need to identify a Bully. This is simply not the case.
Something as simple as an IP Address or registration details, might be enough for local Police to speak with a bully and correct their behaviour, yet it just wont happen! Combined, these 3 networks this year have made in excess of $14billion income from their users. Perhaps some of this money can be spent on actually cleaning up the networks and minimising the ability for these trolls to use the online world for their trade. As it stands, they are running amok and it appears that the SNS don't really give a damn!
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