21 June 2024

The Australian Government has strengthened the Online Safety Act 2021 and released advice about staying safe online tailored to people with disabilities that we share below. 

The Online Safety Act 2021 better equips authorities to hold abusers and online platforms accountable. The legislation also empowers the eSafety Commissioner to order online platforms to remove harmful content. If platforms do not comply, they can be fined, and people who post harmful content can also be penalised. 

Information for people with disabilities 

A 2020 report by the eSafety Commission found that 19% of people with disabilities in Australia experienced online hate speech, compared to the national average of 14%. 

In May 2024, the Australian government created a campaign supporter kit for people with disability, to raise awareness about the stronger law. It includes accessible resources such as an Auslan video, and an Easy English fact sheet. 

What the Online Safety Act covers  

The specific areas covered by the strengthened law include: 

Image-based abuse 

The strengthened legislation protects people from having explicit images or videos of themselves shared without their consent. 

Illegal and violent content  

The law targets material that promotes severe harm, such as child abuse, terrorism, or extreme violence. 

Adult cyber abuse  

The act addresses online harassment that causes serious harm to adults. 


The stronger law aims to protect young people (under 18) from online harassment. 

What you can do for yourself and others to stay safe  

If you or someone you know is experiencing severe harassment, threats, or if explicit images are shared without consent, contact the eSafety.gov.au  so steps can be taken to remove the harmful content.  

Also share the information and links above with family, friends and your professional networks via email, social media platforms, or messaging apps and direct them to eSafety.gov.au website for information and resources.