Australia is preparing for another showdown with Big Tech — this time over defamatory posts

4 days ago

Minister for Communications and the Arts Paul Fletcher addresses media successful the Press Gallery astatine Parliament House connected June 23, 2021 successful Canberra, Australia.

Sam Mooy | Getty Images

Australia is preparing for different showdown with Big Tech — this clip implicit abusive, defamatory posts published connected their platforms.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told CNBC connected Wednesday the state has been "at the forefront" of establishing ineligible and regulatory model for societal media giants, and plans to proceed keeping them accountable.

In a landmark decision, Australia passed a instrumentality this year that requires Google and Facebook to wage section media outlets and publishers to nexus their contented successful quality feeds oregon hunt results.

"Australia has leaned successful connected the contented of the regularisation of societal media, and we mean to proceed to bash so," Fletcher said connected CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia."

What is being proposed?

Canberra is considering a scope of measures that could clasp societal media firms much accountable for defamatory and abusive contented posted onto their platforms.

"We expect a stronger presumption from the platforms. For a agelong time, they've been getting distant with not taking immoderate work successful narration to contented published connected their sites," Fletcher said during an interrogation with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation connected Sunday.

The authorities was looking astatine "a full scope of ways" to ace down connected the thought that immoderate contented is posted online tin beryllium done truthful with impunity, helium said.

'Coward's palace'

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described societal media arsenic a "coward's palace" wherever users tin fell down anonymity and "destroy people's lives and accidental the astir foul and violative things to radical and bash truthful with impunity."

In specified instances, the societal media companies should beryllium treated arsenic publishers, helium said.

Australia's highest tribunal past period reportedly ruled that media outlets are "publishers" of allegedly defamatory comments posted by users connected their authoritative Facebook pages — that leaves them unfastened to defamation suits.

But that ruling did not look astatine whether Facebook itself was liable, Fletcher told CNBC.