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Australia to introduce new laws to force media platforms to unmask online trolls

Stock Markets Nov 28, 2021 04:50AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man takes a mobile phone picture of the windowed ceiling at a shopping mall in Sydney, Australia, July 3, 2017. REUTERS/Steven Saphore
 
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia will introduce legislation to make social media giants provide details of users who post defamatory comments, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday.

The government has been looking at the extent of the responsibility of platforms, such as Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), for defamatory material published on their sites and comes after the country's highest court ruled that publishers can be held liable for public comments on online forums.

The ruling caused some news companies like CNN to deny Australians access to their Facebook pages.

"The online world should not be a wild west where bots and bigots and trolls and others are anonymously going around and can harm people," Morrison said at a televised press briefing.

"That is not what can happen in the real world, and there is no case for it to be able to be happening in the digital world."

The new legislation will introduce a complaints mechanism, so that if somebody thinks they are being defamed, bullied or attacked on social media, they will be able to require the platform to take the material down.

If the content is not withdrawn, a court process could force a social media platform to provide details of the commenter.

"Digital platforms - these online companies - must have proper processes to enable the takedown of this content," Morrison said.

"They have created the space and they need to make it safe, and if they won't, we will make them (through) laws such as this."

Australia to introduce new laws to force media platforms to unmask online trolls
 

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Comments (16)
DrFunkenstein hayson
DrFunkenstein hayson Nov 29, 2021 8:52PM ET
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Australia went full on ******police state. sad
rob Tucker
rob Tucker Nov 28, 2021 8:42AM ET
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And there goes your 1st amendment
By designe
Series3bydesign Nov 28, 2021 8:42AM ET
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Australia has a 1st amendment? No but it wouldn't apply anyways since its a PRIVATELY HELD business where a government grivences system allows for publicly made comments to BE PUBLIC. You do not have a right to remain anonymous when making a public statement (digitally or irl)
Martijn WN
Speculeerbeer Nov 28, 2021 5:06AM ET
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This seems quite troubling. What's their definition of bigoted?
Ric Later
riclater211 Nov 28, 2021 5:03AM ET
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wow... The time for a kinetic response fast approaching. Stay away from social media. you have been warned
Marco henry
Marco henry Nov 28, 2021 3:23AM ET
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So any opposing views on the Covid1984 would be considered "dangerous and bigoted" hate speech by this twisted logic....
Randall Paul
Randall Paul Nov 28, 2021 12:35AM ET
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really. how far can these people go as to impose government law on banning opinion. very cleverly disguised as this opens tge door for them to send police to your door for commenting adversely to their agenda. I feel for you Australia. I thought government was suppose to manage the will of the people who voted them in. instead they voted in fascist who have absolutely zero concern for the people. I saw a video whereby 2 Australian police came knocking on the door of a guy for protesting and posting comments on Facebook. incredible.
Enoch Ping
Enoch Ping Nov 28, 2021 12:35AM ET
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pretty like China CCP
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Nov 27, 2021 11:56PM ET
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What about the misleading and deliberate lies of Mainstream media?...will there be legislation to identify and prosecute them?
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Nov 27, 2021 11:49PM ET
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Wow... Orwell must be smiling. The attack on free speech by the 'Ministry of Truth'
Stephen Towne
Stephen Towne Nov 27, 2021 11:10PM ET
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Guess every will identify as news corporation then
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Nov 27, 2021 10:48PM ET
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Misinformation is anything the government wants to hide
 
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