About Tier 2 of the scheme

The Office works cooperatively with Tier 2 social media services under a formal framework to remove serious cyberbullying material targeted toward a child under the age of 18.

How social media services become Tier 2 social media services

The Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015 (the Act) provides that, following a recommendation from the Commissioner, a service may be declared to be a Tier 2 service by the Minister for Communications.

The Commissioner may make a recommendation to the Minister in relation to a social media service if the service:

  • has requested the Commissioner make the recommendation to Tier 2 status; or
  • is a large social media service; and
  • has first been invited by the Commissioner to make an application to become a Tier 1 service under section 31(4)(a) and has not made an application within the required timeframe (28 days).

Social media service notices and Tier 2 compliance obligations

If a complaint is made to a Tier 2 social media service about cyberbullying material, and:

  • the material is not removed within 48 hours (or other specified period), and
  • the Commissioner, on receipt of a complaint, is satisfied that the material is cyberbullying material within the meaning of the legislation

the Commissioner may give the provider a social media service notice, (under section 35 of the Act,) to remove the content within 48 hours.

Tier 2 is a civil enforcement scheme that can attract legally binding notices and penalties. If a Tier 2 provider does not comply with a social media service notice, civil penalties may be imposed, or the Commissioner may issue a formal warning. Under section 40 of the Act, the Commissioner may also draft and publish a notice on the Office's website to that effect.

Can a decision to issue a social media notice be reviewed?

Section 88(3) of the Act provides that an application may be made by the provider of a social media service to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review any decision made by the Commissioner under section 35 to give a social media service notice to a Tier 2 service.

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