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Australia plans new laws to unmask online trolls

Australia plans new laws to unmask online trolls

dpa
Sydney
Australia will introduce new court powers to force global social media giants to unmask anonymous online trolls, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday.
The reforms will ensure social media firms are considered publishers and can be held liable for defamatory comments posted on their platforms, Morrison said in a statement.
“Social media can too often be a cowards’ palace, where the anonymous can bully, harass and ruin lives without consequence,” Morrison said.
“We cannot allow social media platforms to take no responsibility for the content on their platforms. They cannot enable it, disseminate it, and wash their hands of it. This has to stop.” The new powers will be some of the strongest in the world, Morrison said. “Anonymous trolls are on notice, you will be named and held to account for what you say. Big tech companies are on notice, remove the shield of anonymity or be held to account for what you publish,” he said.
“In a free society with free speech, you can’t be a coward and attack people and expect not to be held accountable for it.” The new legislation will introduce a complaints process, allowing those who are being defamed, bullied or attacked on social media to require the platform to take the material down. If it is not removed, a court process could force the platform to identify the person responsible.

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