Australia's Top Online Censor Fines X for Refusing to Answer Moderation Questions

Australia's Top Online Censor Fines X for Refusing to Answer Moderation Questions

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s top censor, E-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, has slapped with a fine of 610,500 Australian dollars (approximately $386,000) for violating the country’s new Online Safety Act.

The fine is reportedly the first instance of Inman Grant’s office penalizing an online platform over issues related to user-generated content. However, X is not the only company under scrutiny by Inman Grant.

Earlier this year, Inman Grant sent formal questions to several international online platforms demanding explanations as to “what they were doing to tackle a proliferation of child sexual exploitation, sexual extortion and the livestreaming of child sexual abuse,” the Associated Press reported Monday.

According to The Guardian, the tech companies, as well as gaming platforms Twitch and Discord, were given 35 days to respond to the commissioner’s questions or risk fines of up to $687,000 a day, legal demands which came six months after similar notices were issued to Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Snap and Omegle.

Inman Grant claimed that X and Google “did not comply with the notices, with Google giving generic responses to some specific questions, while some questions to X went entirely unanswered,” The Guardian reported Monday.

“I think there’s a degree of defiance there,” Inman Grant told the AP as justification for the six-figure fine to She cited the company’s refusal to answer questions about how many staffers remained on its trust and safety team since Elon Musk purchased the company in 2022.

Google has been given a formal warning, while X was given an infringement notice and now has 28 days to either pay the fine or provide responses to all her questions.

An Anti-Porn Bureaucrat With Broad Oversight Powers

As XBIZ reported, the vocally anti-porn Inman Grant was appointed by the former conservative government of Australia. She has acknowledged having conversations with U.S.-based, religiously-inspired lobby NCOSE and even appeared on an NCOSE podcast at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation summit in July 2021, shortly after the Australian Parliament passed the country’s Online Safety Act.

Before moving to Australia, Inman Grant received degrees from Boston University and American University, worked in politics in Washington D.C. and then for tech giants Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe. According to her official bio, she now claims to “lead the world’s first government regulatory agency committed to keeping its citizens safer online.” She was reappointed for a further five-year term by the Australian government in January 2022.

Inman Grant submitted her road map for imposing age verification requirements on “online pornographic sites” back in March, but in August, the liberal-leaning Australian government announced that it will not require adult websites to implement age verification, one of Inman Grant’s main objectives. According to a report by The Guardian, the decision was made due to “concerns about privacy and the lack of maturity of the technology.”

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland’s response to the document instead instructed Inman Grant “to work with the industry to develop a new code to educate parents on how to access filtering software and limit children’s access to such material or sites that are not appropriate,” the Guardian reported in August.

Main Image: Australia's top online censor, E-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Adult Creative Unveils PPC Services

Web design and marketing firm Adult Creative has launched a new suite of pay-per-click (PPC) services.

Gov. DeSantis Vetoes Florida's Age Verification Bill, Endorses Forthcoming Alternative

Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed HB 1, a bill in the Florida state legislature that originally restricted anyone under 16 from accessing social media, but was then combined with a separate bill mandating age verification of adult content. Launches Through YourPaysitePartner, the official website of fetish and gonzo studio Bemefi Video, has launched through YourPaysitePartner (YPP).

OnlyFans CEO: 'We're Very Proud of Our Adult-Content Creators'

The Financial Times has published an interview with OnlyFans CEO Keily Blair, in which she discusses the popular creator platform and her current vision for the company, and explicitly states that the company is “very proud” of its adult content creators.

Jasmine Teaa Is LoyalFans' 'Featured Creator' for March

LoyalFans has named Jasmine Teaa as its Featured Creator for March.

FSC Submits Statement for the Record to U.S. Congress About Financial Discrimination

The Free Speech Coalition has submitted a statement for the record to Congress, detailing the ways in which Treasury regulations aimed at preventing financial crime may be unintentionally leading to de-banking adult businesses and workers. Releases 2023 'Annual Report' has released its Annual Report, highlighting tendencies and popular search terms on the site in 2023.

Aylo Responds to Canada's Privacy Commissioner Report on User-Generated Content Protocols

Aylo has released a statement responding to a report released by Canada’s privacy commissioner, regarding a complaint about user-generated content.

PASS Adds Indie Producer Fivestar to Board of Directors

The Performer Availability Screening Service (PASS) has tapped independent producer Fivestar to join its board of directors.

Kentucky Republicans Revive 'Public Health Crisis' Claims to Justify Anti-Porn Bills

Republican lawmakers in the Kentucky House and Senate are renewing claims that adult content is part of a “public health crisis,” to justify introducing matching copycat versions of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists.

Show More