Have Your Say On . . .

Safety Codes

Industry associations sought views from the public on the draft online safety codes between September 1 and October 2, 2022. They have now submitted the codes to the eSafety Commissioner for consideration for registration. If registered, the codes become enforceable six months after registration.

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 have now released a draft of the code for public consultation and want to hear your views.

After this period of public consultation, the code will be updated by industry associations and registered by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. 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.

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).

Code Documentation

Industry associations have released a draft code of practice for public consultation, together with an explanatory paper that provides more context on the approach.

In developing this code, industry associations reflected the detailed regulatory requirements for the code outlined by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in their September 2021 position paper.

Draft Industry

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.

Industry Explanatory

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.

eSafety Position

This is the regulatory guidance released by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner on the requirements for the code.


Submissions have now closed and are being carefully considered by the industry associations responsible for the codes. We have published all submissions, along with consumer research we conducted during the public consultation process.

About Us

In accordance with Part 9, Division 7 of the Online Safety Act, the eSafety Commissioner has asked industry associations to draft industry codes. The codes have been developed by a steering group of industry associations that represent the online industry, consisting of (in alphabetical order) BSA | the Software Alliance (BSA), the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), Communications Alliance, the Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA), the Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI), and the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA).

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association

BSA | The Software Alliance

Communications Alliance

DIGI logo

Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association

DIGI logo

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 1 material is defined under the Online Safety Act and via reference to Australia’s national classification scheme. The codes that are the subject of this consultation deals with ‘Class 1A’ and ‘Class 1B’ material. In its September 2021 position paper, eSafety outlined the following subcategories of class 1 material: 

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.

I operate a website, or develop an app. Will I need to comply with the codes?
Yes, once registered by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the codes will be enforceable for all websites and apps available in Australia, which are considered to be “designated internet services”. Under the Online Safety Act, the codes must apply to eight sections of the online industry, described above.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about these codes, you can contact us by emailing hello@onlinesafety.org.au