Australia preparing for another showdown with Big Tech

Texas News Today

Communications and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher addresses the media at the Press Gallery of the Houses of Parliament on June 23, 2021 in Canberra, Australia.

Sam Mooy | Getty Images

Australia is preparing for another confrontation with Big Tech – this time around abusive and defamatory posts published on their platform.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told CNBC on Wednesday that the country is on the “front line” of establishing a legal and regulatory framework for the social media giants and plans to hold them accountable.

In a significant decision, Australia passed a law this year requiring Google and Facebook to pay local media and publishers to link news feed and search results content.

“Australia suffers from social media regulation issues and will continue to do so,” Fletcher said on CNBC’s Squawkbox Asia.

What are you proposing?

Canberra is exploring a variety of measures that could make social media companies more responsible for abusive and abusive content posted on their platforms.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday, Fletcher said, “The position of the platform is expected to strengthen. They have long since fled without taking any responsibility for the content published on their site. I came. “

He said the government is considering “every way” to crack down on the idea that any content posted online can be done without liability.

“Coward’s Palace”

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described social media as a “palace of cowards”. Users hide behind anonymity and can “destroy people’s lives, tell people the filthiest and most objectionable things, and do so with impunity.”

In such cases, he said, social media companies should be treated as publishers.

The Australian Supreme Court reportedly ruled last month that the media was the “publisher” of suspicious defamatory comments posted by users on official Facebook pages.

But the ruling did not look at whether Facebook itself was responsible, Fletcher told CNBC.


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