The Australian Prime minister, Scott Morrison, has announced new social media anti-trolling legislation, which requires certain information of anonymous users who post abusive content through social platforms. Within the proposed new legislation, major social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook would be considered ‘publishers’, therefore making them responsible and liable for regulating insulting material on their platforms.
How anonymous trolls will be unmasked
Under the new legislation, the person who posted defamatory content will be asked to take it down. If they refuse, or if the victim is willing to pursue legal action, the platform can then legally ask the anonymous poster for permission to reveal their contact information.
If the anonymous poster denies access, the laws will introduce an “end-user information disclosure order”, allowing them to reveal the user’s identity without their permission.
If the platforms cannot identify the troll for any reason, or if the platforms refuse, the company will then need to pay for the trolls slanderous comments.
The law is specified to Australian users. The social networks would not need to identify the user if they were located in other countries.
The platforms will need to create a complaint system, so that people can use it if they feel they are a victim of defamation.
A survey was created back in 2018, by Amnesty International on online abuse against Australian women. It concluded that three in ten respondents had experienced some form of online abuse or harassment, and nearly half of those who had answered yes were aged from 18 to 24 years.
“You should not be able to use the cloak of online anonymity to spread your vile, defamatory comments,” Australian Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said during a press conference.
For more information on the new law being implemented in Australia, contact us at Agilient.
Author: Mahdi Kobeissi, Cyber Security Consultant