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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Digital platforms urged to adopt code for complaints

Digital platforms such as Facebook, Google and YouTube have been urged by the government to implement a voluntary code to handle user complaints.

Online platforms such as Google and Facebook have been urged to adopt new government standards to resolve user complaints.

The federal government wants digital platforms to adopt voluntary standards for dispute resolutions by July next year, ahead of further options being considered to improve the sector.

The calls are in response to a consumer watchdog report into competition in digital platforms, handed down last year.

The federal government said it supported all four recommendations made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, including further protection for users and measures to boost competition.

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said Treasury would consult on a digital competition framework next year.

"We want Australians to have confidence that they can use digital platforms safely, and that they'll be heard by the platform if something goes wrong," he said on Friday.

"The steps we are taking here build on the work that the Albanese government has already done to put Australian consumers and small businesses first after a decade of neglect."

The Australia Institute's democracy and accountability director Bill Browne said consumers needed to be better protected.

"Search engines like Google, social media networks like Facebook and video-sharing sites like YouTube exercise enormous control over what Australians get to see and hear, with relatively little competition or regulation," he said.

"The ACCC has suggested sensible, well-grounded changes to the law that would help protect Australians from online scams, abuse and harassment."

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