3AW interview, April 24 2024

Andre Oboler, CEO, spoke to the 3AW Breakfast show on April 24, 2024.

Research has demonstrated the high levels of harm, of various kinds, to young people resulting from social media. The proposal is to limit that age you can access social media to, for example 15, the same as MA movies.

He reminded the listeners that when Facebook first started only people with a school or university account could join. We also have the digital identity service in Australia. Verifying age when creating an account, including for those under 18, is possible.

While there are a range of harms that occur from social media, a big one is the exposure of children to extremist content, hate speech, and disinformation, before they have developed the skills to assess and process that information in a critical manner. It is no different to what we have done for years with films, television, and computer games through the Film and Television Classification Board.

With social media platforms unable to provide sufficient level of moderation to ensure users are protected and the environment does not turn hostile, the only solution left is to limit access.