Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that Australia will draught legislation requiring social media companies to share information about users who make defamatory comments.
After the country’s top court determined that publishers can be held accountable for public remarks on online forums, the government has been looking into the extent of platforms’ accountability for defamatory content uploaded on their sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.
As a result of the verdict, some news organisations, such as CNN, have blocked Australians from accessing their Facebook sites.
“The internet world should not be a wild west where bots, bigots, trolls, and others may injure individuals anonymously,” Morrison said during a broadcast press conference.
“That is not something that can happen in the physical world, and there is no reason for it to happen in the digital world.”
The new legislation would include a complaints procedure, allowing those who believe they are being defamed, bullied, or insulted on social media to demand that the item be removed from the network.
If the content is not removed, a court may order a social media platform to reveal the identity of the commenter.
“Digital platforms – these internet corporations,” Morrison added, “must have sufficient protocols to enable the removal of this stuff.”
“They created the space; now they must keep it safe, and if they refuse, we will force them to do so by legislation like this.”