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Illegal and harmful content

Some online content may be considered ‘prohibited’ content under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

Other content may be considered abhorrent violent material under the Criminal Code Act 1995.

You can report online child sexual abuse material or extreme violent and terrorist content to eSafety for action.

What is illegal and harmful content?

The following types of content may be deemed illegal and harmful:

  • images and videos of child sexual abuse
  • content that advocates terrorist acts
  • content that promotes, incites or instructs in crime or violence
  • footage of real violence, cruelty and criminal activity

How can I deal with content that I find offensive?

If you see online content that you think is illegal or harmful there are a number of ways to deal with it:

  • Report the content to the site administrator — refer to the eSafety Guide for reporting links for popular social media, games, apps and websites.
  • Report the content to the Cyber Report team.Check out what we can’t investigate and our FAQ to see if it is something that eSafety may be able to act on.
  • If what you have seen has shocked or upset you, talk to someone you trust  — or seek professional help through a counselling or support service.
  • To help protect yourself in future, use a filter or other tool to block certain content, and use safe search settings in your browser — although be aware that no filter is 100% effective.
  • Close the page straight away — hit control-alt-delete if the site does not allow you to exit.

How to report illegal and harmful content to eSafety?

Your questions answered

We have put together some frequently asked questions about reporting illegal and harmful content.

Make a report

If you have seen child sexual abuse material or other content that you believe is illegal or harmful, make a report to the Cyber Report team.

Where can I go to learn more?

Information for parents and carers

What can I do if my child sees offensive content?

Online safety basics can help you teach your child strategies to deal with online content that is upsetting or makes them feel uncomfortable.

How can I report online grooming to police?

If you are concerned about the safety of a child online now, you should report the matter to your local police. If the issue is urgent, dial ‘000’ (triple zero) immediately.

You suspect a child is a victim of online child exploitation or grooming you can report to the Australian Federal Police via the ThinkUKnow website.

Online pornography and adult content

The internet has opened up a whole new world of content for young people and a new set of challenges for parents. Read our advice on online pornography for parents and carers.

Safe browsing and parental controls

Parental controls are available for most devices, either through pre-installed settings that can be activated yourself on a device, or via the installation of free or commercial software. Read our advice on taming the technology.

Where can I go for help?

Police

If you, or someone you care about, is at risk of harm right now call Triple Zero (000).

Headspace

12 to 25 year olds. All issues. Phone counselling available all day, every day. Online chat available 9am to 1am EST daily.

Support services