$17 Million To Protect Kids From Social Media Dangers

Social media companies will be explicitly told to protect Australian children as part of a $17 million online safety package aimed at helping parents and their kids.

An Online Safety Charter will be developed laying out expectations for social media companies to protect Australian children.

The coalition government will announce the support package on Sunday, with new resources for parents and carers.

"We must all work together to ensure the safety of our youngest Australians online, including parents, social media companies and the community," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said ahead of the launch.

"Nothing can be more important than protecting our children, and in many cases this means defending them from dangers from the online environment."

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Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said the government expected digital platforms to do their bit to keep Australian kids safe.

"Our new Online Safety Charter will clearly set out our expectations of industry," he said.

"Businesses who interact with children in the real world have to meet high standards of safety, and digital businesses should be treated no differently.

"This generation is the first to be immersed in the digital world. There is much we don't know, and as technology evolves we are funding more research to improve online safety."

The charter will have an explicit focus on children, recognising they need special protection.

A draft will be developed over the summer, and the final charter will be agreed in 2019.

The package also includes money for online safety research and more resources for parents.

Lead photo: Getty