20/05/2024 01:23 PM

CANBERRA, May 20 (Bernama-Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has thrown his support behind a push to implement stricter age restrictions on the use of social media.

Albanese on Sunday said it was time to take strong action to protect young Australians from the devastating harms of social media, said Xinhua.

News Corp Australia newspapers on Sunday launched a Let Them Be Kids campaign calling for the minimum age to access social media in Australia to be raised from 13 to 16.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Albanese described the campaign as a positive response to an issue that is concerning Australian parents.

"Parents are worried sick about what their kids have access to online. It is a major social issue in this country," he said.

"Every parent is concerned about the impact of social media. I think it's time we take strong ­action, but we want to make sure that strong action is effective."

Earlier in May, the federal government announced plans to set up an inquiry into the influence of social media. Premier of South Australia (SA) Peter Malinauskas appointed a former high court chief justice to examine the legal practicalities of banning social media for children younger than 14.

The premiers of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, Australia's three largest states, also on Sunday expressed support for News Corp's campaign.

The federal budget for 2024-25 included 6.5 million Australian dollars (US$4.3 million) in funding to test the effectiveness of age assurance technologies for social media and whether they have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of children. 




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