Safer online services and media platforms — new discussion doc open for consultation
What is ‘safer online services and media platforms’?
The Department of Internal Affairs has released a discussion document called Safer Online Services and Media Platforms.
It represents a key step towards the development of a new, consistent regulatory system that aims to reduce people’s exposure to harmful online content, and create a system that is easier to navigate if people need to report harmful content.
The document sets out proposed reforms to the way media and online platforms are regulated in Aotearoa.
Why does it matter?
Our laws and processes related to media regulation are over 30 years old and are not adequate for the online world we live in today. This discussion document is a huge milestone that opens opportunities for making the Internet safer for everyone in Aotearoa.
Harmful online content affects nearly everyone who uses the Internet in some way, but disproportionately affects certain groups and communities, including Māori, Pasifika, women, and Muslim and LGBTTQIA+ people, and many more marginalised communities too.
It could potentially be one of the most important opportunities in a generation to enable regulation that helps address harmful online content and makes the internet safer for everyone, which will help ensure freedom of expression for all.
What does the discussion document propose?
Some of the key features in the discussion doc are:
- Online and other media platforms (like social media companies and traditional broadcasters like TV and radio) would be brought into one cohesive framework with consistent safety standards.
- Codes of practice will be developed for these online and other media platforms, in cooperation with industry organisations and civil society.
- A new regulator will be created to approve and enforce those codes. The regulator would have powers to require illegal material to be removed quickly.
How can you have your say?
The Government has set a timeframe for public consultation, asking for everyone's view on the 90-page document by 31 July 2023. This period is a key opportunity for members of the public to provide feedback early in the process before any legislation is developed.
What will InternetNZ be submitting on?
We will be listening to and supporting people and communities to think about the proposals and submit their views. We will hear what diverse communities are thinking before we submit the InternetNZ response at the end of July.
Want to read more?
More information about the review can be found on the DIA website here.