Australia Passes Law to Punish Social Media Companies for Violent Posts

Posted in: Government & Policy at 05/04/2019 14:19

Australia passed sweeping legislation Thursday that threatens huge fines for social media companies and jail for their executives if they fail to rapidly remove “abhorrent violent material” from their platforms.

The law — strongly opposed by the tech industry — puts Australia at the forefront of a global movement to hold companies like Facebook and YouTube accountable for the content they host.

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AP Explains: How strict Australian social media law works
Australia hopes its new laws that threaten prison and major fines for social media executives who fail to quickly remove streamed violence from their platforms will become a model for other countries.

The government has described its response to the March 15 gun massacre in which an Australian allegedly killed 50 Muslims in New Zealand as a world-first in legislating the conduct of social media and online platforms.

NZ watchdog mauls tough new Aussie social media law
Australia's new social media law certainly has tough penalties. It allows for fines of up to 10 per cent of a tech giant's revenue or up to three years' jail for their executives if they fail to take "swift" action against "abhorrent" content.

But NZ Council For Civil Liberties chairman Thomas Beagle tells the Herald the new law "doesn't look particularly well thought through or effective."

New livestreaming legislation fails to take into account how the internet actually works
In response to the live streamed terror attack in New Zealand last month, new laws have just been passed by the Australian Parliament.

These laws amend the Commonwealth Criminal Code, adding two substantive new criminal offences.

Both are aimed not at terrorists but at technology companies. And how that’s done is where some of the new measures fall down.

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