A few weeks ago, we notified members about the government’s use of the new Children’s e-Safety Commission in carrying out the work previously undertaken by ACMA with regard to the Broadcasting Services Act and the Restricted Access System Declaration regulations. Independent media site Crikey, has picked up on this story, featuring Eros member Absolutely Adult’s Mark Coleman. 

Tips and rumours: nanny state confuses porn retailers with cyber bullies
by Crikey

Tips and rumours
Some in the “adult product” (i.e. sex toy) industry have questioned the government’s new office in charge of protecting children from online bullies after some websites received interim take-down notices for pages selling pornographic DVDs that had already been classified under Australian law. The Western Australia-based website Absolutely Adult received notices last month asking for the pages advertising nine DVDs to be taken down, with owner Mark Coleman believing it was because the covers were more explicit than others on his site. The pages were taken down in accordance with the notice, but he had never received such a notice before. While the eSafety Commissioner’s main remit is to protect children online, it also handles complaints related to the Broadcasting Services Act, which were previously handled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The eSafety Commissioner’s hotline investigations team told Crikey that complaints had been received in relation to a number of pages advertising DVDs:

“The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner has recently investigated a number of complaints about pages advertising adult DVDs. The advertisements were accompanied by images likely to be classified R18+ (and not subject to a restricted access system) and X18+. The Office issued the relevant content services with interim take-down notices. The content services responded promptly to the notices, ensuring that the material was either taken down or brought into line with Australian classification standards.”

The office said that between July 1 and September 30 this year it received 1182 complaints about prohibited offensive and illegal content, 325 of which were about adult content, and 830 about child sexual abuse material. We asked if the new office was actively seeking out prohibited content online and were told “all investigations carried out by the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner are generally based on complaint”.

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