New program 'helps protect children using social media'

A NATIONAL initiative to clamp down on cyber bullying does not yet include social media site Twitter, with the Prime Minister calling on the company to join up.

PM Julia Gillard on Wednesday launched the voluntary program, which includes guidelines for social networking sites, to help stop cyber-bullying.

But despite social media giants Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and even Microsoft signing up, the instant messaging system Twitter has not.

Ms Gillard said the new program would help protect children who were using social media from the risks associated with social media.

"This commitment is about protocols and guidelines which sets out clear information about the acceptable use of these environments, education and awareness-raising about what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour online," she said.

"And I do call on Twitter to replicate what has been done by other major social media companies, and embrace these guidelines."

The new program was part of the Federal Government's response to a Senate inquiry last year, which laid out the many safety risks of using social media.

Ms Gillard said the program would be rolled out to 600,000 children in 3500 Australian schools.



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