They may be fierce rivals in social networking, but Facebook and Google are joining forces with Australia in going after Internet trolls there.
Facebook and Google are among social media sites that agreed to follow the Australian government's social media guidelines, tech site ZDNet reported.
But the report said that for now, the new protocol is only being followed by YouTube, the video-sharing site acquired by Google.
It said Google+, Google's own social media site, is not listed among those that have agreed to follow the guidelines.
On the other hand, the ZDNet report
said another social media site, micro-blogging service Twitter, has yet to signify its cooperation.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the Cooperative Arrangement for Complaints Handling on Social Networking Sites Protocol (PDF).
"Many people are living with the feeling of humiliation in front of thousands, indeed tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people because of the way that these social media environments work," she said.
ZDNet said Gillard singled out Twitter as one social network that needs to cooperate, saying that "it is on Twitter that so much of the damage has been done by trolls."
Twitter is currently setting up an office in Sydney, the ZDNet report said.
The new arrangement in Australia seeks to provide Australians with clearer information about what is acceptable on the social networks, and create a single point of contact for the government to deal with.
It also ensures processes are in place for acting on complaints.
ZDNet noted that with many social networks not Australian-based, they may fall outside the reach of local legislation.
"(This means that) lthough they are encouraged to participate and comply with the new protocol, the government is unable to force them by law. Twitter is one such organization that has yet to agree to follow the protocol," it said. — TJD, GMA News