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Twitter fined $600,000 over child safety failures | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Australia’s eSafety commissioner has fined X – previously Twitter – more than $600,000 for failing to explain how it was fighting child abuse, amid revelations the social media platform reduced efforts to detect illegal material after its purchase by billionaire Elon Musk.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner also issued a formal warning to Google for responding to questions about child abuse material with irrelevant or generic answers, and found both Google and Discord – a popular instant messaging app – were not blocking links to known illegal content.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant has issued Twitter a $600,000 fine.Credit: Rhett Wyman

Under the commissioner’s new powers to compel organisations to explain what they are doing to combat online child exploitation and abuse, it sent transparency notices to Google – including YouTube – TikTok, X, Twitch and Discord.

The information it received showed YouTube, TikTok and Twitch were taking steps to catch child abuse in livestreams and detect grooming, but Twitter, Discord and Google were not. Google was not using its own technology to detect known child abuse videos, the commissioner said.

During the three months after Musk bought Twitter, the proactive detection of child abuse fell from 90 to 75 per cent. Twitter said this had subsequently improved, but offered no evidence to back that up, the commissioner said.

The social media platform Twitter was rebranded X by its new owner Elon Musk.

The social media platform Twitter was rebranded X by its new owner Elon Musk.Credit: Reuters

The time taken to respond to reports of child abuse content ranged from five minutes for TikTok to 13 hours for Discord, while Twitter and Google did not answer the question.

The commissioner’s report found said Twitter did not comply with its notice, by failing to respond at all to some questions or providing answers that were wrong or incomplete. The company has been issued with a fine for $610,500, which it has 28 days to pay.

The report said Google also failed to comply, by providing irrelevant, generic or non-specific answers. It has been given a formal warning.

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