eSafety commissioner backs Collective Shout's call for Instagram overhaul

Reported in The Age

Three anti-sexual exploitation organisations from three countries— Collective Shout (Australia), the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (United States), and Defend Dignity (Canada)—launched a campaign to call out rampant sex trafficking, child sexual abuse grooming, and the fetishisation of underage girls on Instagram.

An article about our Instagram campaign published in The Age featured comments from eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant and associate professor of criminology at the University of NSW Michael Salter.

Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said she shared Collective Shout’s concerns.

"We are placing the responsibility back on the technology platforms themselves so that they are designing, developing and deploying their online services with user safety in mind and protections are built-in up front — an initiative we call Safety by Design," Ms Inman Grant said.

Michael Salter, associate professor of criminology at the University of NSW, said social networks should keep minors in a "walled garden" similar to the new YouTube Kids for children aged 12 and under.

He said the fundamental flaw in platform design was that adults could directly contact children who were strangers to them.

"For as long as those design features are enabled in platforms, we will always have predatory adults who are targeting children," Dr Salter said.

"We need to reject industry claims that they cannot keep kids safe on the platforms. We need to reject the industry claim that it is ‘up to parents’ to police children's behaviour."

Dr Salter said technology companies were legally responsible for the content they hosted once it was reported to them but they often made it difficult to file a complaint.

 'It's like any girl is up for grabs': Instagram a magnet for predators

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See also:

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https://esafety.gov.au


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