Tough new laws to target keyboard warriors in Australia

Desperate calls for tougher laws to prosecute online trolls have been answered, with some of the world’s strongest anti-bullying laws set to be introduced in Australia.

The draft of the Online Safety Bill, released publicly today, will give the eSafety Commissioner the ability to order the takedown of abusive material and force social media companies to hand over the details of trolls hiding behind a keyboard.

The proposed new laws are expected to be introduced to Federal Parliament in the new year following months of campaigning from everyday Australians and high-profile figures including Journalist Erin Molan and former NRL coach Anthony Seibold – who have copped their own fair share of online bullying.


The new laws will include massive fines of up to $111,000 for adults who post “seriously harmful content” online, including death threats and revenge porn.

Under the legislation, social media giants like Facebook and Twitter and online games like Fortnite, would also have to remove the abusive content within 24 hours of being alerted to it by the eSafety commissioner.

Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told the ABC that’s been one of the main cries for help from victims.

“Overwhelmingly what victims of serious cyber abuse tell us is they want the material taken down but that can be very hard to achieve today.

“The eSafety Commissioner has done that effectively with cyberbullying against children and we’re now going to extend that to cyber abuse directed against adults.”

With the new laws, the commissioner would also have the power to unmask those behind anonymous and fake accounts.

TV host and journalist Erin Molan has been a leading voice for tougher laws on cyber bullying after experiencing horrendous online abuse, including death threats.

Following the news of the new legislation, Molan took to social media to express her relief.

“This is why I fight. Thank you thank you thank you,” she wrote.

“This will save lives. This will set a precedent so our babies and children will be safer.

“Thank you… I am so overwhelmed with emotion right now.”

The Federal Government is asking for feedback on the draft Online Safety Bill by mid-February.