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Internet is one of the greatest inventions of the world. It is people’s common wealth and the resources supplied by the Internet can be shared together. It seems that people could communicate with each other without reservation online. Most of these people advocate in freedom and they are looking for free on the web. However, the atmosphere of Internet gets its own rules in different areas of different countries. Not only it needs internet rules, but also Internet regulation can not be ignored in each country. Nowadays the system of Internet regulation is not complete enough to protect people’s rights online. Governments should enhance internet regulatory.

The network monitoring system in Australia is relatively well developed around the world. As one of the earliest developed countries with formulation of Internet regulation, the behavior and speech online in Australia promote the development of network environment. The main regulatory agency in Australia is Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which is combined with Broadcasting Authority and Telecommunications Authority in 2005 by the government. [1] According to Anti-spam Law, Internet Content Regulations and other laws, the ACMA is responsible for network monitoring in Australia, such as protecting consumers and promoting self-regulation and competition in the communications industry. At the same time, online gambling and spam both are regulated by the ACMA. [2]

Not only Australia has strict supervision online, but also penalties are severe. For example, after receiving complains from the Internet, the ACMA will review and checks the content of complain, every related sites would be asked to delete the information immediately upon verification. If the sites failed to do so before the steeled date, they will be punished with fee of 11,000 dollars per day. Police will investigate in more serious cases and the maximum penalty of such cases will be up 10 years for imprisonment.

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However, network is a virtual world. The Internet regulation could not cover everything. Even Australia gets effective legislation and enforcement of Internet regulation, Australia is not a pure land without Internet fraud, children pornography and verbal abuse. In August 2012, Australia Fox Television host Charlotte Dawson hospitalized because of depression. Everything begins with a Twitter from a female named Tanya Heti to Charlotte: “Please do the world a favor go hang yourself”. [3] As ambassador of anti-violence organization, Charlotte did not keep silence but carried out a confrontation with Heti under line. And she reported Heti’s behavior to her working place MonashUniversity in Melbourne. Then the university arranged Heri for paid holiday. Charlotte talked about this in multi-profile TV shows, which caused some net users’ verbal assault to her Twitter. The whole night Charlotte received more than 100 pieces of offensive remarks, such as older than 40 years, single and have done cosmetic surgery. After almost eight hours of bombing violent language, Charlotte exhausted finally, she simply tweeted at 2 Am.: “Hope this ends the misery…” and “You win.” Australian Associated Press commented on Charlotte’s experience that the popular social network can be so evil.

After the verbal abuse on Twitter, most of Australian questioned whether the regulations of network can take responsibility to this. Spokesman of Lifeline John Mendel said that social network operators should assume some responsibility and the social media should solve the problems in 24 hours, they have to respond to any complain and close any web pages containing violent content. At the same time, delete violent comments before they wide spread. Individuals have responsibility to report such behavior.

Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said about the Dawson case: “We should get reasonable protection.”[4] According to Abbott, social media sites are maintained by people. It some one posted malicious abuse or verbal attack information online, there should have institutions, which have right to require charging person delete that information in order to make sure people are treated in a civilized manner. Abbott added that online attract is different from that in real life, because of broader impact online and always being there. This is the reason that violence online is more worrying phenomenon.

SOURCE

1. ACMA 2013, Internet online regulation, [online] Available at

http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/About/The-ACMA-story/Regulating/internet-online-regulation  [September 12, 2013]

2. Australia Government Comlaw. 2005, Australia Communication and Media Authority Act 2005, [online] Available at

http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2005A00044 [April 6, 2005]

3. Mamamia Team. 2013, “You win” Charlotte Dawson in hospital after Twitter abuse, [online] Available at

http://www.mamamia.com.au/health-wellbeing/charlotte-dawson-and-the-twitter-trolls/  [August 30, 2012]

4. Claire, C, Alicia, W, Rosie, S & Jonno, N 2012, News: Charlotte Dawson thanks fans for support after attacks by Twitter trolls, [online] Available at

http://www.news.com.au/technology/charlotte-dawson-twitter-attack-sparks-call-for-changes-to-laws-against-cyber-bullying/story-e6frfro0-1226461962215

[August 31, 2012]

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