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Industry codes position paper

The online industry has the opportunity to develop modern, robust and effective codes to keep Australians safe online. 

The new Online Safety Act, commencing on 23 January 2022, provides for industry bodies or associations to develop the new codes to regulate certain types of harmful online material, and for eSafety to register the codes.

This ‘class 1’ and ‘class 2’ material ranges from the most seriously harmful online content, such as videos showing the sexual abuse of children or acts of terrorism, through to content which is inappropriate for children, such as online pornography.

The codes will apply to the participants of eight key sections of the online industry, including providers of social media, messaging, search engine and app distribution services, as well as internet and hosting service providers, manufacturers and suppliers of equipment used to access online services and those that install and maintain the equipment.

The eSafety Commissioner must make reasonable efforts to ensure that a code for each section of the online industry is registered within 6 months of commencement of the Act.

Industry consultation

eSafety has released this position paper to help the online industry develop codes.

The paper sets out 11 policy positions regarding the substance, design, development and administration of industry codes, as well as eSafety’s preferred outcomes-based model for the codes. 

eSafety has engaged with a number of industry bodies and associations to date and will continue to work closely with industry to ensure codes are registered within the legislative timeframe. 

Any industry body or association or industry participant who wishes to participate in the codes development process can contact eSafety at codes@esafety.gov.au.

To check how eSafety handles personal information, please see our collection notification and privacy policy.

The industry codes environment

eSafety intends that its formal regulatory powers will be underpinned by co-regulated industry codes, built on a solid foundation of Basic Online Safety Expectations being developed under the new Online Safety Act. All these elements will work together to help keep Australians safe online.