Fact Check-Recommendation for social media ID requirements in …

Australia has not implemented “social credit” to access social media platforms, contrary to claims online.

Social media users making this claim misrepresent a broadcast that dates to April 2021 about a proposal made by a parliamentary committee looking to reduce “technology-facilitated abuse”. Reuters found no evidence that the recommendation, which proposed requiring a form of identification in order to open a social media account, has been implemented.

Since at least mid-December 2022, social media users have shared a clip of a news segment in which a news presenter is heard saying at the start, “A radical plan to crack down on social media abuse is being considered by the federal government.”

Iterations of users recently sharing the footage with claims that the country has “introduced” the use of “social credit” to access social media have spread across Twitter (here) (here), Facebook (here), Instagram (here) and Gab (here).

The original clip was posted by 9News Australia on April 1, 2021 (here).

In the segment, a reporter describes the requirement based on a point-value for different forms of ID, saying that “Australians [would be] forced to submit 100 points of identification, like their driver’s license or passport, when using social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter,” and that police could have access to that data.


The news segment seemingly refers to recommendation number 30, among more than 80 presented in a March 2021 report, (here) by a committee of the Parliament of Australia, as part of an “inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence” (here).

The recommendation is described as “relating to technology-facilitated abuse” and reads in part: “In order to open or maintain an existing social media account, customers should be required by law to identify themselves to a platform using 100 points of identification, in the same way as a person must provide identification for a mobile phone account, or to buy a mobile SIM card.”

The committee also suggested that “Social media platforms must provide those identifying details when requested by the eSafety Commissioner, law enforcement or as directed by a court.”

Reuters found no evidence of any further action taken to enact this recommendation, however.

At the time, critics challenged the proposal, questioning whether anonymity played a major role in abusive online behavior, and arguing that the measure could endanger vulnerable communities and pose a risk for data privacy (here) (here) (here).

Contacted by Reuters on Jan 4, Belinda Barnet, senior lecturer in media at Swinburne University of Technology, said that the nearly two-year-old proposal was not implemented.

Rebecca Lewis, senior media advisor with Australia’s eSafety Commission, a body set up to protect internet users, also told Reuters it had not been implemented.

The Department for Social Services and the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.


Misleading. The circulating news video dates to April 2021 and describes a proposal by a committee of the Australian parliament looking into domestic and sexual abuse to require identification to access social media. The recommendation has not been implemented.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work (here).


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