Why does this proposed legislation appear so soft? Because our Government knows all to well they will have no real legal authority to compel any international entity to act on such a legislative requirement. The response from organisations such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has always been, " We are not responsible for the actions of our users". And to a degree, I agree with that approach.
The Cyber Bullies of our world are the ones who should be targeted. However, I believe a much stronger onus must be accepted by these networks for the gutless activity that is occurring under their banner.
Many people around the world have described Cyber Bullying as a modern day epidemic and to a degree, I am of a similar opinion. When speaking about our teens and pre-teens, Cyber Bullying is one of the leading concerns for parents and for kids themselves. Recent numbers coming out of the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that a stagering 43% of school aged children have experienced Cyber Bullying in some form.
This week I received a call from a parent whose 13 year old daughter had been sent a "dick pick" by a 14 year old boy from the same school. Naturally the father was furious, so he rang the school and demanded action. This is a situation that faces so many schools and parents every day. But it is a situation that is extremely difficult to deal with on so many levels. The school is automatically stuck between a rock and a hard place.
One of the most common questions I get from parents is, "What age should I introduce my kids to social networking?" Quite often this is a difficult question to answer as there are many factors impacting on such a decision. In the 3 years I have been presenting to primary age students, I have identified a massive rise in those who are on 1 or more of the top 10 social networking apps. These include Facebook, Instagram, Musical-ly and Snapchat. So often the argument arises; "Well they are under age, so they should not be on them!"