Under the Online Safety Act, industry associations must develop codes of practice to protect Australians from Class 1 content under Australia’s classification scheme. Once in effect, this code will create industry-wide protections for Australians in relation to materials such as child sexual exploitation material, pro-terror content, and extreme crime and violence.
Industry associations released a revised draft of the codes for public consultation and sought views from the public on the revised draft codes from 9 March to 23 March 2023. The consultation period has now closed and the submissions received (where consent has been obtained to publish) will be published shortly.
Online Safety Codes
Under the Online Safety Act, industry associations must develop codes of practice to protect Australians from Class 1 content under Australia’s classification scheme. Industry associations released a revised draft of the code for public consultation from 9 March to 23 March 2023.
This period of consultation has now closed. The associations are considering the feedback received through submissions and preparing final drafts of the codes together with an updated request for registration and submissions log, for the Office of eSafety Commissioner. Once in effect, these codes will create industry-wide protections for Australians in relation to materials such as child sexual exploitation material, pro-terror content, and extreme crime and violence.
The codes will be enforceable by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner for eight sections of the online industry, including social media services, providers of relevant electronic services (includes any services with messaging, and gaming), providers of designated internet services (includes all websites in Australia), providers of internet search engine services, providers of app distribution services, providers of hosting services, providers of internet carriage services, and persons who manufacture, supply, maintain or install certain equipment (includes retailers).
Industry associations released revised draft codes of practice for public consultation. The consultation period has now ended and the associations are preparing finalised drafts.
In developing these codes, industry associations reflected the detailed regulatory requirements for the code outlined by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in their September 2021 position paper.
These are drafts of the industry codes of practice under Online Safety Act on Class 1 content, organised by industry section, on which we have sought your views during public consultation in September 2022.
This is an explanatory paper that explains the approach taken in the draft industry code, which should be read as a companion document to the codes.
This is the regulatory guidance released by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner on the requirements for the code.
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association
BSA | The Software Alliance
Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association
Digital Industry Group Inc
Interactive Games and Entertainment Association
Frequently Asked Questions
What will this code achieve for consumers concerned about online safety?
Once finalised, the codes will be submitted for registration to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in 2022 and, once registered, will be enforceable under the Online Safety Act. In short, the codes create improved standards across the entire online industry to address harmful Class 1 materials.
What types of content are covered under this code? What does 'Class 1' content mean?
Class 1A is any material which:
- promotes or provides instruction of paedophile activity (‘child sexual exploitation’),
- advocates the doing of a terrorist act, including terrorist manifestos (‘pro-terror’),
- describes, depicts, promotes, instructs or otherwise deals with matters of extreme crime, cruelty or violence (including sexual violence) without justification (for example, murder, suicide, torture and rape), (‘extreme crime and violence’).
Class 1B is any material which:
- describes, depicts, expresses or otherwise deals with matters of crime, cruelty or violence without justification (‘crime and violence’),
- promotes, incites or instructs in matters of crime or violence (‘crime and violence’),
- describes, depicts, promotes, instructs or otherwise deals with matters of drug misuse or addiction without justification (‘drug-related content’)
Industry has further developed and defined each subcategory with reference to the national classification scheme. Please see the Head Terms, including Annexure A, for further detail.