X Fined for Non-Disclosure of Child Abuse Content Protocol
October 17, 2023
1 min 33 sec read
Okay, so if you follow digital happenings regularly, or even occasionally, you know that Elon likes to stir the pot, raise eyebrows, and rattle a few cages. It's in his DNA. We take it with a grain of salt and move on.
This time, though, we're not sure what he's thinking.
It seems that Australia's eSafety commissioner isn't sure either because the commissioner fined Elon's pet platform 610,500 Australian dollars
, which comes to over $380,000, for not properly disclosing information about how X monitors and handles child abuse content.
Australia introduced this fine as part of its Online Safety Act, which was introduced in 2021. The legislation requires that online service providers report how they handle claims of child abuse content on their platforms. Under the law, companies that fail to report can face civil penalties.
While Elon Musk has announced his commitment to addressing child abuse content publically, internal reports indicate he's gotten rid of safety jobs and watchdogs in the company, leading some to speculate that he's not as serious about the topic as he should be.
"Twitter/X has stated publicly that tackling child sexual exploitation is the number one priority for the company, but it can't just be empty talk, we need to see words backed up with tangible action," Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said in a statement.
To be fair, it isn't just X under the gun. The eSafety memo was sent to many companies, including Google, Discord, Twitch, and TikTok.
The eSafety Commision found "serious shortfalls" in how child abuse content is policed and dealt with on five platforms that also received legal notices. The office said that Google was given a "formal warning" for giving "generic responses to specific questions."
X was officially fined because they not only failed to answer many of the questions but went so far as to leave some sections completely blank. They refused to address important subjects, including how long it takes to respond to child abuse reports, how it detects child sexual exploitation on the platform, and the number of safety and public policy employees on staff.
In 2020, NBC News and CNBC presented records that indicated "25 employees held titles related to Trust and Safety out of roughly a total of 1,600 staff members."
X has 28 days to either respond appropriately or pay the eSafety fine.
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