The Age reports:
The federal government has proposed new laws to unmask anonymous online trolls and to make social media companies that publish the defamatory posts of third parties liable.
Under the new regime, a social media company would be legally responsible for defamatory posts unless they revealed to the victim the identity of the trolls. Companies such as Google can already be sued for defamation (former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro is now suing Google over videos posted by YouTube personality Jordan Shanks).
Read more on The Age.
So trolling is a crime now? Australians aren’t the only ones to try to try to use trolling as a way to impose more draconian surveillance laws and restrictions on free speech. We also saw a social media real name measure proposed in the U.K. that also seems to think trolling is an adequate justification for eliminating anonymous or pseudoanonymous speech:
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMP) November 24, 2021
The AU and UK bills are misguided, at best. Don’t give governments more excuses to require collection of your personal information that the government will then just obtain from social media platforms.