Gai Brodtmann, the Member for Canberra, has backed calls for a tougher stance on cyber bullying and trolling.
“It is against the law to use social media in a harassing way,” Ms Brodtmann said.
“If someone experiences or receives cyber bullying that they think breaks the law, then I urge them to report it to the police.
“People need to know that a crime in the physical world is also a crime online.
“The cruelty and personal nature of some comments can be a criminal act.
“The recent conviction of a malicious ‘’troll’ who defaced an online tribute site sends a clear message to those who think they are anonymous or can’t be tracked.
“There are laws in place that can be used to prosecute ‘trolls’ and cyber bullies who use a carriage service to menace, harass or cause an offence.
“Abusive and harassing behaviour on social networking sites, like Twitter, can have devastating consequences,” Ms Brodtmann said.
The Gillard Government has provided $125 million in funding for cybersafety initiatives over the past 5 years, increasing funding for cybersafety education, awareness-raising activities and law enforcement.
This includes the Easyguide to Socialising Online, which provides information on the safety features of 27 social networking sites, search engines and online games.
The Government has also funded a free downloadable Cybersafety Help Button, which provides easy online access to the cybersafety information and assistance available in Australia.
The resources available to help people stay safe online include:
- The Easyguide to Socialising Online - www.dbcde.gov.au/easyguide.
- The Cybersafety Help Button - http://www.dbcde.gov.au/online_safety_and_security/cybersafetyhelpbutton_download
- Cybersmart Online - http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/
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