Australia Passes Law to Punish Social Media Companies for Violent Posts

merlin_152673258_fb863252-00ac-4cf7-83c7-03a685a28752-jumbo (1)Source: The New York Times


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.

It comes less than a month after a gunman, believed to be an Australian white nationalist, distributed a hate-filled manifesto online before using Facebook to live-stream the massacre of 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“These platforms should not be weaponized for these purposes,” said Christan Porter, Australia’s attorney general, during a debate on the bill Thursday in the House of Representatives.

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Categories: Australia, Social Media

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