Australians could be required to provide identification to join social media sites or set up anonymous dating profiles under proposed reforms designed to stamp out online bullying and harassment.
The Federal Government is reportedly considering new reforms that would see people forced to submit identification such as a passport or driver’s license in order to create a profile on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Tinder, 7News reported.
The reforms are designed to quash bullying, trolling, harassment, stalking and sexual abuse online performed by people hiding behind anonymous accounts.
At the moment, no ID is required before joining any social media or dating platform, although some sites ask users to provide their email address or mobile number.
This means online bullies or stalkers are able to issue abuse or threats without any risk of being caught or identified.
A Parliamentary Committee report on online abuse found that faceless and nameless people could harass victims online with “little risk of sanction”.
The report suggested the requirement of ‘100 points of identification’ to create a social media account.
“In order to open or maintain an existing social media account, customers should be required by law to identify themselves to a platform using 100 points of identification, in the same way as a person must provide identification for a mobile phone account, or to buy a mobile SIM card,” it said.
The Morrison Government is reportedly considering the report and will issue an update in coming weeks, according to 7News.
The report also suggested “a substantial increase” in criminal penalties and fines for online abuse facilitated through technology to “act as a greater deterrent for errant behaviour”.
Yahoo Finance has contacted the Prime Minister’s office and the Parliamentary House of Representatives for comment.
The proposals come as Parliament House grapples with revelations about its workplace culture and accusations levelled against senior federal politicians over rape, harassment, and inappropriate conduct.
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