Online watchdog urges public not to share Bondi images

Tess Ikonomou and Kat WongAAP
The sharing online of images from the Bondi Junction stabbings is alarming authorities. (Flavio Brancaleone/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconThe sharing online of images from the Bondi Junction stabbings is alarming authorities. (Flavio Brancaleone/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Australians who want to mourn victims of the Bondi Junction stabbing attack have been urged not to share violent, distressing or harmful content online.

Joel Cauchi, 40, fatally stabbed six people and seriously wounded 12 others in a violent rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction before he was shot dead by a police inspector on Saturday.

Photos of his dead body with the policewoman who shot him were shared on social media, as were videos of victims in the shopping centre.

But the eSafety Commissioner has urged Australians not to share such troubling content.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


"If you see violent, distressing or harmful content online, please don't share it further - even if you want to acknowledge or mourn the victims," an eSafety Commissioner representative told AAP in a statement.

"Re-sharing may cause distress to others, especially the families and loved ones of the deceased."

They urged internet users to report such content to the platform so it can be removed quickly, or report it to the eSafety Commissioner.

The online safety watchdog has received a small number of reports from the public relating to the stabbing tragedy.

NSW Premier Chris Minns was concerned about the availability of unedited graphic footage online, given the investigation and urged people who had material of the attack to hand it over to police rather than post it online.

"If you want my opinion about whether social media companies should act more broadly about protecting young people in particular, from graphic or harmful material, the answer to that is unambiguously yes," he told reporters in Sydney.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese acknowledged it was difficult to control the spread of distressing material, because social media had turned ordinary people into publishers.

"It is a scourge in many ways, social media," he told ABC radio on Monday.

Following the stabbing, social media users globally were making Islamophobic and anti-Semitic claims about the motives of the attacker.

Channel 7 wrongly named on air a Sydney university student as the murderer, with a number of sites and social media accounts republishing the error.

Mr Albanese said traditional media outlets had a responsibility to prevent the spread of misinformation.

"How is it that a mainstream media organisation just put that up?" he said.

"There was other declarations early on by some mainstream media that there was a terrorist attack under way."

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails