Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are the target of an Australian government crackdown on cyber bullying.
On Wednesday morning, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott introduced legislation to parliament enabling a specifically appointed commissioner the ability to penalize website services for posting offensive material online.
The Children's E-Safety Commissioner will hope to clamp down on dangerous online material by issuing fines of up to 14,000 U.S. dollars per day to companies who target children on social media websites, in addition to enforcing existing criminal laws to those caught cyber bullying.
According to Australia's parliamentary secretary to the communications minister, Paul Fletcher, the bill is part of a pre- election promise to lower the rate of one in five Australian children who have reported being cyber bullied.
"The Children's E-Safety Commissioner issues a notice requiring a large social media service to take down this cyber bullying material targeted at an Australian child," Fletcher said on Wednesday morning.
"Obviously, the service has a very strong incentive to do so because it is exposed to this fine for each day that it does not respond to that notice."
In addition to forcing the removal of certain content, the commissioner will also be able to pass the details of those accused of cyber bullying on to police as part of the new law.
Although website services such as Google and Microsoft are opposed to the mandatory removal of their content, Fletcher does not believe the government will have any issues in doing so.
"We've had vigorous and continuing engagement with certainly Microsoft, Yahoo7, Facebook, Google, Twitter and other players," he said.
"We are conscious of not imposing any more additional regulatory burden than is necessary to keep Australian children safe online."