Government ministers oppose push for e-safety commissioner

Coalition MPs have questioned the Abbott government's policy of appointing a regulator with the power to force social media companies to remove material deemed harmful to children.

Critics include Liberal MP Alex Hawke, deputy chair of the previous Parliament's Cyber Safety Committee.

''A lot of experts have considered the model of an online ombudsman and tend to be quite sceptical,'' Mr Hawke said. ''I am willing to try this model. However most evidence suggests that traditional, reactive models of regulation may have little impact.''

The Coalition has proposed appointing a children's e-safety commissioner who can order rapid removals if large social media companies refuse, or are too slow, to pull down unsuitable material. The government is also considering creating a Commonwealth cyberbullying offence.

West Australian Liberal MP Dennis Jensen said cyber bullying could be dealt with by other means.

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