Federal Member For Banks
Shadow Minister for Communications

Shadow Minister For Communications – Media Release – Albanese Government Age Verification “Trial” Won’t Require Social Media Companies to Actually Trial Anything

At Senate Estimates yesterday, Government officials stated that social media companies will not be required to actually participate in the “trial” of age verification technology.

It was revealed that there will be no requirement for companies like Instagram and TikTok to do anything in the “trial”.

The Government should be requiring social media companies to trial age-assurance technology when children try to sign up to their sites. It is not doing this.

Instead of requiring the social media companies to do anything in the trial, officials have admitted it will simply assess what the sites do now at present on age verification.

The answer to this can be provided now: virtually nothing.

It is comical that the Government is going to conduct a “trial” of age verification technology without requiring any action the social media companies. This “trial” is actually more of a desktop research project.

Communications Minister Rowland blocked the Coalition’s efforts to introduce a trial last year, and described the eSafety Commissioner’s recommendation as an “unnecessary distraction”.

Now, the Minister is running a “trial” on social media age verification, but not requiring the social media companies to participate.

This is a totemic issue affecting Australian families, and it needs a Minister with the willingness to actually address it.

Shadow Minister for Communications
Member for Banks
Hon David Coleman MP