“Fiji Urged to Prioritize Online Safety Amid Tragic Incident”

Prominent Suva lawyer Jon Apted has urged the Online Safety Commission to actively fulfill its role as an independent regulator of online safety in Fiji. His call to action follows the alleged suicide of a well-known local TikTok personality and social media influencer.

Apted has advised Fijians to be conscious of their social media posts and shares, highlighting the growing issue of personal bullying and negative exposés prevalent on many platforms and large group sites in Fiji.

He emphasized that it is illegal to post anything on social media or send electronic messages that could cause serious emotional distress to a reasonable person or to share intimate video recordings. The penalty for such offenses includes up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.

“Unfortunately, the Online Safety Act has been neglected, and the Online Safety Commission has faded from the public eye. Now, sadly, a prominent social media personality, who was subjected to severe bullying in the past few days, has reportedly taken her life,” Apted remarked.

The Online Safety Act 2018 was passed by Parliament to establish the Online Safety Commission, aiming to promote online safety, deter harmful electronic communication, and address related matters. The OSC began its operations in 2019, providing support to individuals facing harmful online content and offering services and resources to minimize harm and educate the public on safe online practices.

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