New Online Safety Act commences

Australians now have access to world leading online safety protections thanks to the new Online Safety Act 2021 which commenced on 23 January.

The Australian Government's Online Safety Act 2021 has delivered new and strengthened schemes to keep Australians safe online, including mechanisms to remove seriously abusive and harmful content.

The new laws:

  • help eSafety to get the 'worst of the worst' content removed no matter where it's hosted
  • introduce measures to protect Australian adults from serious online abuse
  • strengthen the previous cyberbullying scheme to further protect children.

Image-based abuse will also be tackled by the laws, supporting individuals through faster removal of intimate images shared without consent.

A set of Basic Online Safety Expectations will also set a new benchmark for platforms to take responsibility for protecting Australians online.

Under the laws, online platforms and individuals will have to take down harmful and illegal content quickly – not doing so may result in a substantial financial penalty.

The laws also provide eSafety with stronger information gathering and investigative powers to unmask the identities behind anonymous online accounts used to bully, abuse or exchange illegal content.

To report serious abuse or harmful content, please visit

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