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


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

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If the content is not withdrawn, a court process could force a social media platform to provide details of the commenter.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

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Ukraine diplomat sees little chance of war, but local conflict possible
Relief efforts ramping up in Tonga, more aid arrives
S.Korea's daily COVID-19 cases surge as new testing scheme begins
Protests, citizenship festivities mark contentious Australia Day holiday
Debt dispute probably sparked killing of two Canadians in Mexico
Cuba defends trials of protesters as fair, rejects accusations of rights violations
UNICEF says fears grow over fate of 850 children in besieged Syrian prison
U.S. State Department approves potential sale of radars and planes to Egypt -Pentagon
Mexican reporters plan nationwide protests over journalist killings
U.S. calls Russian decision to add Navalny to list of 'terrorists and extremists' disturbing

Others Also Read


Vouchers