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Twitter pledges to work closely with Australian authorities

Australian law enforcement is hoping Twitter’s help will decrease cyber bullying on the network.


Kris Holt


Twitter has agreed to work more closely with law enforcement officials in Australia following a spate of high-profile attacks on users based in the country.

The company’s global public policy chief, Chris Crowell, said it would cooperate with the authorities where there are self-harm concerns and where violent threats have been made. Crowell met with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) and the federal police (AFP) this week.

Crowell said law enforcement officials would be able to access information the company holds on people in certain cases (such as cyberbullying) but that they would have to progress through the appropriate legal steps for that to happen.

Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy previously criticized Twitter’s stance on handing over data related to cases where one user abused another on the site. Last week, he accused Twitter of treating the country’s laws with contempt.

He welcomed Twitter’s clarification on where the company stands in such cases.

“Twitter will ensure a much more streamlined process for law enforcement authorities investigating violent behaviour on its site,” he said, according to ZDNet. “They have agreed to provide assistance to police, especially in cases investigating instances of violent threats on the site, and threats of self-harm.”

A number of celebrities and athletes had joined a newspaper-led Stop The Trolls campaign after receiving unpleasant tweets. One user sent rugby star Robbie Farah nasty remarks about the rugby player’s late mother, while a reality show contestant faced death threats after seemingly flirting with a member of boy band One Direction.

Those complaints led to officials looking into tougher anti-troll laws.

Photo by marragem/Flickr

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