Australia could soon make life difficult for internet trolls – albeit at a considerable cost. Reuters Reports Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled legislative plans that, in some cases, could force social networks to use defamatory comments to reveal the identities of trolls and others. A grievance mechanism would require online platforms to remove these hostile posts. If not, the judicial system could direct a particular website to provide details about the offensive poster.
Morrison compared the current Internet to a “wild west” in which anonymous attackers could “injure people”. If this can’t happen in real life then “no reason” for it to happen online, the Prime Minister said.
The proposed laws come weeks after the Australian High Court ruled that media companies could be held liable for comments made on Facebook posts. CNN restricted access to its Facebook pages in the country because of these liability concerns. The proposed legislation would take this a step further by requiring certain actions if a contribution is deemed harmful.
The move raises privacy issues. Anonymity could help trolls, but it also protects political dissidents and other innocent critics – will Australia ensure that identity disclosure laws are not used to discourage government challenges, as is the case in China? And without examples of the legislation, it is unclear what would constitute a crime serious enough to warrant disclosure of an identity.
This article was previously published on Source link