Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

Regulatory schemes

eSafety’s purpose is to help safeguard Australians at risk of online harms and to promote safer, more positive online experiences.

eSafety has a range of regulatory functions and powers, which we apply in a flexible and integrated way to promote compliance and achieve good outcomes for all Australians.

These powers are enhanced by the Online Safety Act 2021 (the Act), commencing 23 January 2022.

Where appropriate, eSafety will continue to work collaboratively with the online industry to resolve individual complaints.  

Where a collaborative approach is not appropriate or sufficient to protect Australians, we will draw on our robust range of regulatory options.

On this page:

Our regulatory posture and priorities

This document explains our regulatory posture (or philosophy), as well as our regulatory priorities for the 2021-22 financial year. This year, our regulatory priorities are primarily focused on putting into operation the enhanced protections of the Online Safety Act 2021. We are also continuing to strengthen the support we give Australians through our established schemes and programs, laying the foundations for our new regulatory regimes, and driving online industry improvements through Safety by Design.

Cyberbullying Scheme

The Online Safety Act expands Australia’s world-first Cyberbullying Scheme to provide protection to children being bullied in all online environments, not just on social media.

Image-Based Abuse Scheme

Online platforms will be forced to take down image-based abuse material faster under strengthened protections that are a key part of Australia’s new Online Safety Act.

Social Media Tier Scheme

The Social Media Tier Scheme established under the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 will continue to be operational until the Online Safety Act 2021 commences on 23 January 2022.

More information

More regulatory guidance will be added soon:

  • Adult Cyber Abuse Scheme
  • Online Content Scheme (illegal and restricted materials)
  • Compliance and Enforcement Policy

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Other support

Check our advice and resources, including when and how to report a complaint to eSafety:

More about cyberbullying

More about image-based abuse