Minister for Communications and the Arts Paul Fletcher addresses media within the Press Gallery at Parliament Home on June 23, 2021 in Canberra, Australia.
Sam Mooy | Getty Pictures
Australia is getting ready for one more showdown with Massive Tech — this time over abusive, defamatory posts revealed on their platforms.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher informed CNBC on Wednesday the nation has been “on the forefront” of creating authorized and regulatory framework for social media giants, and plans to proceed conserving them accountable.
In a landmark resolution, Australia handed a legislation this 12 months that requires Google and Fb to pay native media retailers and publishers to hyperlink their content material in information feeds or search outcomes.
“Australia has leaned in on the difficulty of the regulation of social media, and we intend to proceed to take action,” Fletcher mentioned on CNBC’s “Squawk Field Asia.”
What’s being proposed?
Canberra is contemplating a spread of measures that would maintain social media companies extra accountable for defamatory and abusive content material posted onto their platforms.
“We count on a stronger place from the platforms. For a very long time, they have been getting away with not taking any duty in relation to content material revealed on their websites,” Fletcher mentioned throughout an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company on Sunday.
The federal government was “an entire vary of how” to crack down on the concept no matter content material is posted on-line will be performed so with impunity, he mentioned.
Final week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described social media as a “coward’s palace” the place customers can conceal behind anonymity and “destroy individuals’s lives and say probably the most foul and offensive issues to individuals and accomplish that with impunity.”
In such cases, the social media firms ought to be handled as publishers, he mentioned.
Australia’s highest court docket final month reportedly dominated that media retailers are “publishers” of allegedly defamatory feedback posted by customers on their official Fb pages — that leaves them open to defamation fits.
However that ruling didn’t take a look at whether or not Fb itself was liable, Fletcher informed CNBC.