Social Media Trolls to be Unmasked

Unlike the USA Social Media providers in Australia will be designated as publishers of their content under new laws proposed today to curb bullying and on line trolling. This will allow people like Facebook, Twitter etc to be liable for defamation action if they take no action against trolls.

The details of the legislation not yet released


It will only benefit the rich and famous though. It won’t help actual victims of harassment and bullying, I don’t think.

I don’t think that is true.

According to the news report the Federal Government with provide legal aid in a big way to enable the laws to be tested in court by the average citizen. In particular to protect children and young people.


Well that’s brilliant then, if it happens :+1:

I liked this .

I really hope this works, but as the article says, what if people close their accounts and re-register with a non-Australian IP address (I’m not sure how you would do that …)? They would then be beyond the reach of the Australian laws,

From the article quoted

Under the proposal, social media companies will be required to create a complaints process for people who feel they have been defamed online.

The complaints process will allow people to ask that material be taken down by a user if they feel it is defamatory.

If the user is unwilling to take down the content, or the complainant wants to take further action, the company asks a user for their consent to release their personal details.

If the user does not consent to their details being released, a court order can be made requiring the company to release them — allowing the complainant to pursue defamation action.

Mr Morrison (Scotty from Marketing) said the government would be happy to intervene in court and take on social media companies trying to avoid releasing personal details.

"We will be looking for test cases that can reinforce these laws," he said.

"So if the digital companies or others think they’re only just going to have to be dealing with perhaps someone of little means seeking to pursue this, then we will look for those cases.

“We will back them in the courts and we will take them on.”

So be very careful what you say about me :wink:

The worst Trolls are the ones that dig you and then keep chipping away at you until you do something you might regret.
I mainly choose to walk away but that is easier said than done.
I will never forget what my grand daughter had to endure at school for having Dyslexia…
She almost took her life because…because she could not understand
why they were so so cruel to her…

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But we love you, Bruce!


I’ve always thought social media shouldn’t be anonymous. If you’ve got something to say put your name to it.

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I don’t.He’s OK I suppose.

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Wouldn’t Facebook and Twitter just block all accounts with IP addresses from Australia? It would avoid the liability and not make much of a dent in their bottom line.

Its good to see some Troll bashing going on, so the WUMs get a break.


In the Old CB Radio Days…WUM’s… we all were and had more than a good laugh…And Most of All…It was fun :+1: not like what goes on Now, every day somebody wants to turn the knife at you…happens on here as well… :zipper_mouth_face:


Makes me wonder how the proposed law would be enforced on a place like this. If someone from Australia complained, would the admin of this forum be required to collect real life information of every forum member to give to the authorities?

What kinds of complaints would be considered trolling? The article linked in the OP linked to the definition of trolling to be:

That’s super broad and would be really difficult to enforce since everyone has a different idea of whether someone deliberately tried to provoke and upset people or if they were just unwitting about it.

There’s lots more questions than answers in legislation like that. There would need to be much more detail for anyone to decide what to do about it.

I’ve seen proposed legislation like this before years ago. I’ve never seen it enforced, especially not in the ways people think it would be.

I suppose the easiest way is not to post on the internet. Seems a simple answer to me


I think most of us have a pretty good idea of what constitutes trolling .

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I seem to recall that the legal argument is that social media sites, including forums such as this, are in fact “publishers” and hence can be held accountable for what gets published.

If so, then it doesn’t really matter what the small print that sites include as a condition of people (such as us) agree to abide by, since it is ultimately the responsibility of the site owners as to whether they put it on public display.

Don’t think anyone has tested it in court just yet, but if it does eventually happen and a legal precedent is set, then the concept of “live” chat may well take a big hit.

In the US they are not publishers but they are going to be held accountable as such if these new laws get up, just the same as any newspaper or book publisher.

I suppose you could argue that would be a very good thing and open the market to a more ethical competitor but in fact I doubt people are trolled from overseas, or at least not to any great degree. it would just make defamation laws apply to the on-line space and make companies liable for what they publish like the print media.

Rather like our anti smoking laws i suspect you would see other countries follow suit.

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All sites should have a TL status (Troll Likelihood) :icon_wink: :+1: