As the recent Ravenswood
controversy highlights, social media issues are increasingly
complicating the management of risk for school principals and
administrators – especially when it comes to managing
bullying and its diversified forms in the online context.
A relatively recent and important resource in combating
cyber-bullying is the Australian Government Children's e-Safety
Commissioner (CeSC). The CeSC is responsible for the protection of
children experiencing cyber-bullying and the administration of a
complaints scheme in respect of prohibited online content.
The CeSC can issue take down notices to social media platforms
seeking removal of the bullying content within 48 hours. It can
also refer complaints about cyber-bullying to the school or in
serious cases to relevant law enforcement agencies. The CeSC also
operates an eSafety Hotline where complaints about online content
can be lodged. Where prohibited content is hosted in Australia, the
eSafety Hotline can direct the hosting service take down the
content. If the content is hosted overseas, the eSafety Hotline can
refer the content to an ISP filter provider so as to filter it via
optional end-user filter subscriptions.
Most social media platforms have their own cyber-bullying and
offensive content policies and often special e-safety hubs where
users can register their complaints and report cyber-bullying. The
CeSC contains links to a range of these on its website. It is a
requirement that the complaint be first made to the social media
platform prior to the CeSC.
The CeSC also provides useful resources and links to relevant
information about dealing with cyber-bullying and navigating the
available tools provided by social media platforms for managing
cyber-bullying. It is worthwhile becoming familiar with these tools
and incorporating them where relevant into school social media
For a fuller exploration of managing social media within a
school regulatory framework including social media bullying, please
see our expanded article
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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