Australia’s eSafety Commissioner fined social media platform X, formerly Twitter, AUD610,500 ($386,000) and issued a formal warning to Google for failing to provide details on their anti-child-abuse practices and for falling short in tackling the proliferation of child sexual exploitation.
eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant explained in a statement: “We really can’t hope to have any accountability from the online industry in tackling this issue without meaningful transparency.”
She added a new report reveals continued gaps in how five tech companies are dealing with the problem and how they are tackling the rise in sexual extortion.
In February, eSafety issued legal notices to Twitter, later rebranded X, Google, TikTok, Twitch and Discord requiring them to answer questions about measures they have in place to tackle the proliferation of child sexual exploitation.
The report found X failed to provide any responses to a number of key questions, including the time it takes to respond to reports of child sexual exploitation, measures in place to detect the abuse in livestreams, and the tools it uses to find related material.
X has 28 days to request the withdrawal of the infringement notice or to pay the penalty.
Google was warned for its failure to comply due to the company providing a number of generic responses to specific questions and providing aggregated information when asked questions about specific services.
Inman Grant noted X and Google’s non-compliance “was disappointing, especially as the questions relate to the protection of children and the most egregious forms of online harm”.