About Tier 1 of the scheme

The Office works cooperatively with Tier 1 social media services to remove serious cyberbullying material targeted toward a child under the age of 18.

How social media services become Tier 1 social media services

A social media service may apply to the Commissioner to be declared a Tier 1 service. The application must be made in writing and attach or link to information which demonstrates that the service complies with the basic online safety requirements set out at section 21 of the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 (the Act).

A social media service’s terms of use would be expected to clearly address any cyberbullying behaviour that occurs on its service. Such cyberbullying behaviour may include intentional intimidation or humiliation of another person, which may be repeated.

Removal request and Tier 1 obligations

If a complaint is made to a Tier 1 social media service about cyberbullying material, and:

  • the material is not removed within 48 hours (or other specified period), and
  • the Commissioner, on receipt of a complaint, is satisfied that the material is cyberbullying material within the meaning of the legislation

the Commissioner may issue the provider a removal request, to have the cyberbullying material removed from the service.

Tier 1 social media services may elect how complaints made to the Office should be assessed and notices given.

If a Tier 1 service repeatedly fails to comply with requests to remove material over a 12 month period, or the Commissioner is satisfied that the service does not comply with the basic online safety requirements, the Commissioner may, in writing, revoke the service's Tier 1 status and recommend that the Minister declare the service as a Tier 2 service.

Are decisions reviewable?

Section 88 of the Act provides that an application may be made by a social media service to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review any decision made by the Commissioner to:

  • refuse to declare that service a Tier 1 social media service
  • revoke a declaration in relation to that Tier 1 social media service.

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