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.
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.
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,
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…
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 not like what goes on Now, every day somebody wants to turn the knife at you…happens on here as well…
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?
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 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.