Australia to propose new laws to force social media to expose online trolls

On virtually every online platform there are so-called Internet “trolls”. They are users, or even bots, who are distinguished by their inappropriate, insulting and contradictory posts and comments. In many cases, they clog comment boxes on social media, thereby blocking content that may be useful.

Australia wants to step up the fight against these situations and now the country will introduce new laws to force platforms, like social networks, to unmask online trolls.

Australia wants to unmask online trolls

Australia will introduce legislation to force social media giants to reveal details of users who post defamatory comments, according to Reuters. The revelation was made on Sunday by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

According to the details, the government has carefully analyzed the extent of the liability of some platforms, such as social networks Twitter and Facebook, for defamatory content posted on these services. The analysis comes after the country’s highest court ruled that the media can be held responsible for public comments on their official social media pages. The move has led some news companies, such as CNN, to deny Australians access to their Facebook pages.

Australia holds media accountable for comments made on social media

From what Scott Morrison said in a press interview:

The online world shouldn’t be a Wild West, where bots, fanatics, trolls, and the like roam anonymously and can harm people. This is not what can happen in the real world, and it cannot happen in the digital world.

The new legislation will introduce a grievance mechanism so that whenever someone thinks they are being defamed, intimidated or attacked on social media, they can demand that the platform remove that content. If the content is not removed, this action may be forced through a legal process applied to the platform to provide details of the author of the comment.

The Prime Minister said that “ digital platforms – those online companies – need to have adequate processes in place to allow removal of this content. They create the space and they have to make it safe, and if they don’t, we do it through laws like this. “


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