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Responses to transparency notices

Online service providers are required to report on how they are implementing the Basic Online Safety Expectations set out by the Australian Government.

The Basic Online Safety Expectations (known as 'the Expectations') are intended to help keep Australians safe while using social media, messaging and gaming services, as well as other apps and websites. 

Under section 56(2) of the Online Safety Act 2021 (the Act), eSafety can issue non-periodic reporting notices requiring online service providers to report on their compliance with the Expectations.

Under section 49(2) of the Act, eSafety can issue periodic notices requiring providers to report at regular intervals on their compliance with the Expectations. 

eSafety can publish summaries of the information received through the notices, making these powers a world-leading tool for improving industry's transparency and accountability.

This page summarises the responses to notices issued to providers:

  • Non-periodic reporting notice related to online hate on Twitter (subsequently rebranded as X) given on 21 June 2023
  • Non-periodic reporting notices relating to child sexual exploitation and abuse issued on 22 February 2023 to Google, Twitter (subsequently rebranded as X), TikTok, Twitch and Discord.
  • Non-periodic reporting notices relating to child sexual exploitation and abuse issued on 29 August 2022 to Apple, Microsoft, Skype, Meta, WhatsApp, Snap and Omegle.

Findings from transparency notice January 2024

This transparency report and key findings report summarise the response to the notice given to X Corp. in relation to online hate on Twitter (subsequently rebranded as X) given on 21 June 2023. 

Download the report

 

Finding of non-compliance and action taken: X Corp.

X Corp. was required to respond by the deadline set by the Notice, including any extensions granted. eSafety also informed X Corp. that it could request an extension of time to enable it to comply with the Notice. Two extensions were granted to respond at X Corp.’s request. 
 
eSafety found that X Corp. did not comply with the Notice by providing responses that were incorrect, significantly incomplete or irrelevant. 
 
Subsequent information was provided by X Corp. after the Notice deadline that sought to rectify earlier omissions of information provided. eSafety took this into account in deciding upon the appropriate enforcement action.  

eSafety has given a service provider notification to X Corp., to confirm its non-compliance by the Notice deadline and to deter it from future non-compliance.

Findings from transparency notices October 2023

This transparency report and key findings report summarise the responses to notices given to Google, Twitter (X), TikTok, Twitch and Discord regarding the steps being taken to detect and address child sexual exploitation and abuse on their services, including sexual extortion and the safety of recommender systems.

Read key findings

Download the reports

 

Following publication of this transparency report, X Corp. advised eSafety that its response to questions regarding the detection of livestreaming of child sexual exploitation and abuse on the Twitter service ‘was inaccurate due to an inadvertent error' and provided a revised response to the question. The following document includes X Corp.'s revised response.

Finding of non-compliance and action taken: Google

Google failed to answer a number of questions in response to the notice, in certain instances providing generic information where specific information was sought. eSafety found that Google failed to prepare a report in the manner and form required and did not comply to the extent that it was capable, as required under sections 56(2)(b) and 57 of the Act.

Google has been issued with a formal warning, notifying it of its failure to comply, and warning against non-compliance in the future.

Finding of non-compliance and action taken: X Corp. (in relation to the Twitter service) 

eSafety considered X Corp.'s failure to comply to be more serious. In some instances, X Corp. failed to provide any response to the question, such as by leaving the boxes entirely blank. In other instances, X Corp. provided a response that was otherwise incomplete and/or inaccurate. eSafety found that X Corp. failed to prepare a report in the manner and form required and did not comply to the extent that it was capable, as required under sections 56(2)(b) and 57 of the Act.

In October 2023, eSafety has issued a service provider notification to X Corp. confirming its non-compliance, as well as an infringement notice for $610,500.

Update: 21 December 2023

X Corp. did not pay the infringement notice. On 10 November 2023, it sought judicial review of eSafety’s reliance on the transparency notice and the giving of the service provider notification and infringement notice to X Corp.

On 21 December 2023, eSafety commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against X Corp. for allegedly failing to comply with the notice.

eSafety’s initiating court documents:

Read eSafety's media statement for more information. 

Findings from transparency notices December 2022

Cover of BOSE transparency report Dec 22

This report summarises the responses to notices issued to Apple, Meta, WhatsApp, Microsoft, Skype, Snap and Omegle regarding the steps being taken to detect and address child sexual exploitation and abuse on their services.

Download the report

 

 

 

 

Last updated: 12/03/2024