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Social media platforms must take accountability over harassment under new law: Australia

Social media platforms must take accountability over harassment under new law: Australia

The Australian government has decided to bring in a legislation that would make social media platforms provide details of users who post defamatory comments, a Reuters report revealed.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday that the administration has been looking at the extent of the responsibility demonstrated platforms such as Twitter and Facebook for defamatory material published on them. He said that the online world should not be a 'wild west' where 'bots, bigots, trolls' and others are anonymously going around and harming people. It is not what happening in the real world, and it should not occur in the digital world too.

The fresh legislation will introduce a complaints mechanism which will allow users who think they are being defamed, bullied or attacked on social media to request the platform to remove the material. If the material is not taken down, a court process could force the platform to provide details of the commenter.

Morrison added that digital platforms must have a proper process to enable the removal of content. The platforms have created a space, so they must make it safe too, but if they don't, the administration will make them through laws, he said.

Earlier, Australia's highest court had ruled that publishers could be held liable for public comments online. The ruling has forced news firms like CNN to deny Australians access to their Facebook pages.

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TAGS:AustraliaDigitalLawSocial media policyTechnology
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