Government calls for new voluntary industry code of practice for online dating safety

A request has been issued to the online dating industry to collaborate on a voluntary industry code of practice to protect Australians.

The call follows a January roundtable convened by the Minister for Communications and the Minister for Social Services that brought together the online dating industry, state and territory governments and the family, domestic and sexual violence sector to discuss improving the safety of online dating platforms.

The government has since been working with the industry to understand the nature and frequency of harms affecting Australians, and their policies and practices for keeping users safe.

While online dating platforms have all taken steps to keep their users safe, the government is urging the industry to collaborate to improve safety across the board. This would require a voluntary code that committed to improving engagement with law enforcement, supporting at-risk users, improving safety policies and practices, commitments to other relevant safety frameworks and greater transparency about harms.

The government has called upon the online dating industry to develop and commit to the code by the middle of next year and has flagged that if the code does not sufficiently improve safety, the government will pursue legislative options.

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