Need help dealing with violent or distressing online content? Learn more

Distressing content

Online spaces should be safe for everyone, but you may sometimes come across content that is distressing – especially if it shows extreme violence or acts of terrorism. 

This page has information about what to do and how to get support if you see online content that is seriously harmful and disturbing.

On this page:

How eSafety can help deal with distressing content online

Under Australian law, eSafety can issue a takedown notice to an online platform or service to remove the worst type of harmful online material, or block access to protect Australian users from viewing this content. This includes content that shows, describes, promotes, incites or instructs people in violent crimes including:

  • terrorist acts
  • kidnapping with violence or threats of violence
  • murder
  • attempted murder
  • rape
  • torture
  • suicide
  • sexual exploitation of children.

If you see this type of content posted in a public place online, don’t share it – even if your intention is to help, or raise awareness. Sharing this content may cause distress to others and you may be committing a crime. 

See our page on how to manage the impacts of illegal and restricted online content if you are exposed to material showing violence or acts of terrorism. 

Report illegal and restricted online content

 

Report material that shows extreme violence or terrorism to the online platform or service to get it removed quickly. Go to The eSafety Guide to find reporting links on platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, Telegram, Instagram, Facebook and Reddit. Your actions could protect you and others from seeing that content again.

 

You can report illegal and restricted content anonymously to eSafety at any time.

 

REPORT TO ESAFETY

Resources for parents and carers

It's important to stay open and talk to your children about the content they are seeing online. Encourage them to tell you what they have seen and how they feel – especially if they are exposed to material that is distressing or violent.  

Sometimes parents and carers might need to take extra precautions to protect their children from seeing disturbing content online. Take a look at our resources in the Parents section of the website for advice about parental controls and what to do if your child sees distressing or violent content. 

Resources for young people and kids

There is advice for young people and kids on what to do if they come across disturbing content online. 

Resources for educators

It's important to check-in and support young people who may be more vulnerable and are showing signs of distress after seeing disturbing online content. Use our resources and follow your school or sector policies and procedures for managing and supporting students at risk.

 

More resources

Find more advice on our pages across the website, including:

You can also get help and support from one of these counselling services

Beyond Blue

All ages. All issues. Phone counselling and online chat available all day, every day.

Kids Helpline

5 to 25 year olds. All issues. Confidential phone counselling available all day, every day. Online chat available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Headspace

12 to 25 year olds. All issues. Phone counselling and online chat available 9am to 1am AEST, every day.

Lifeline

All ages. All issues. Phone counselling and online chat available all day, every day.

More support services

Last updated: 15/02/2024