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Australia wants Facebook held liable for anonymous defamatory comments

32 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

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32 Comments

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As thin skinned as any tin pot dictator. What ever happened to PMs who could laugh off their critics and turn their criticisms back on them with a pointed salty joke? Now everyone wants to sue and make criticism illegal. Shame!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The world wants the Australian government held accountable for abusing the rights of free expression of its citizens.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

The world wants the Australian government held accountable for abusing the rights of free expression of its citizens.

Eh? The lockdowns were overwhelmingly supported by the people of Australia. Are you saying that the government should apologize to the right-wingers of the world for not prioritizing those right-wingers wishes over the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Australians?

Yeah, because that makes sense, right?

 

...right?

2 ( +11 / -9 )

I'm torn on this. Facebook and Twitter etcetera have their uses, but they can also be such cesspits of misinformation, disinformation, diseased minds and malignant opinions that any genuine effort to close down that aspect of social media would be welcome.

But given that Australia's Defence Minister Peter Dutton is currently suing an (identified) Twitter user for posting that Dutton is "a rape apologist", presumably Morrison sees an opportunity here to intimidate social media users from voicing any criticisms of the government, no matter how meaningless they are in the bigger picture, for fear of similar action being taken against them.

One thing's for sure. Neither this man nor his government can be trusted.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

There have been some sort of COVID related protest and civil disobedience in just about every country with little government brutality. However there are many videos circulating on social media of brutal police violence in Australia; choking, rifle butts slammed into handcuffed violators, knees to the head, etc, etc. The Australian government is working hard to hide these violent police actions from its citizens.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Who decides what is "defamatory"? The government.

Who decides who to persecute? The government.

Nope, no problem here /s. These politicians obviously have too much time on their hands if they can spend hours pouring over Facebag hunting for rude comments.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This soon-to-be-irrelevant populist buffoon is desperate to avert attention from his ineptitude and moral vacuum.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Who decides what is "defamatory"? The government.

Well, they decide the laws. The judiciary determine whether an actual incident falls under those laws or not.

Who decides who to persecute? The government.

Prosecutors decide. They are government employees, not legislators.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

”Facebook can’t censor free speech!”

”Facebook is evil, it must be shut down!”

Make your minds up eh.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

And this loser knows all about cowards. He doesn’t want ICAC, because it will expose his inability to lead. Waste of space.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Totally unnecessary and guaranteed to lead to widespread censorship, which is already bad enough in Aus.

I also think there might be an ulterior motive in trying to force Australian social media users back to online newspapers, majority owned by Murdoch and Co. The LNP and Murdoch have always been close. This might be an experiment by them to see if this tactic is successful and if it is, it will be rolled out in other countries. Keep in mind, they've lost vast sums of money and readers to social media.

Lets see Labor say that would support new law if all the online newspapers owned by News Ltd also fall under any proposed new laws. I would be interested to see the reaction by the LNP.

Drop it like a hot potatoe would be my bet.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm all for hating on Morrison like most people, but honestly Albanese is no better, especially with backstabbers like Shorten still hanging around in the party. They clearly did not learn from the whole Rudd/Gillard mess.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm all for hating on Morrison like most people, but honestly Albanese is no better,

It says a lot about Albanese that despite many stumbles by the PM, he has failed to make any dent whatsoever in the number of people that think Morrison would be a better PM and thats with Morrisons leadership throughout the pandemic taken into account. Thats pretty woeful for Labor.

Two party preferred is neck and neck and yet Albanese is trailing Morrison by miles as preferred PM.

So if your Labor, its obvious what needs to change....yet again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“Social media has become a coward’s palace where people can just go on there, not say who they are, destroy people’s lives and say the most foul and offensive things to people, and do so with impunity,” he added.

Australia has become a coward's palace where police can just go on there, not say who they are, destroy people's lives, and do the most foul and offensive things to people, and do so with impunity. (Fixed it for ya, Mr. Mr. Morrison.)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Anyone think this will only affect FB, Instagram, twitter, think again!

You know that website you used to find out if the contractor you are thinking of hiring is trustworthy and does good work, or the ine6 you use to see if the restaurant you are thinking if going to has good service and food, the site you use to see if the hotel is clean free of bed bugs and has good service, the site you use to see if the product you are planning on buying is well made and does it's job?

Well all it will take are a few unhappy restaurant, hotel, construction contractors, manufacturers, etc... To launch liability suites against those site for them to say it just isn't worth the trouble and shut down.

If this gets exported to YouTube etc.. those tool, car, phone, etc... Reviews will also go the way of the d Dodo.

Why? Because going after a guy in some town someplace that said your service was bad, your work was poor, etc.. doesn't get public sympathy or much money, going after the big bad corporation well that can't make you look like the victim and possibly net you quite a pretty penny!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So if your Labor, its obvious what needs to change....yet again.

They need a total purge of everyone that was involved in the knifing of Rudd and Gillard. Until that hapoens, those maggots don't deserve to be in opposition, let alone run the country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They need a total purge of everyone that was involved in the knifing of Rudd and Gillard. Until that hapoens, those maggots don't deserve to be in opposition, let alone run the country.

A serious purge just allows the LNP to play up disunity in Labor with ease.

I think the future of the LNP governments rests on what happens when pandemic restrictions ease. Do we motor along or do we do what Singapore has just done and go back into reasonably serious restrictions.

If its the latter, they will be in serious trouble with most conservatives who have had enough of restrictions. In NSW, they would be smashed.

But if Labor says we need to go back into lockdowns, they too, will be smashed. People are over it.

But Albanese as Labor leader is a serious weakness for Labor.

He seems like a decent bloke, but he is not national leadership material and Australians can sense it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm all for hating on Morrison like most people

Its very clear most people dont hate Morrison. The left does. The average Australian, not so much

Look at the polls. He is more popular than Biden. His approval rating is 47/48%.

That is still better than most Western leaders, better than Japan, better than Biden by a mile, better than Macron.

Biden is at 38% approval rating. That is terrible for a President so short into his term.

The Dems are in serious trouble next year. He will be a lame duck President.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The corrupt lnp govt are just panicking because there are many sources exposing them for what they are. This is a nut job of a PM that thinks he can "talk in tongues, and lay healing hands on people".

This is a govt that stuffed up quarantine, lied about vaccine supplies, and paid millions to companies as covid disaster payments where it was not needed and eventually just went to bonus payments for directors. Then tried to blame the states for everything.

A man of zero substance who stands by and watches cabinet ministers rort the public purse.

This is why they don't like social media.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The lockdowns were overwhelmingly supported by the people of Australia. Are you saying that the government should apologize to the right-wingers of the world for not prioritizing those right-wingers wishes over the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Australians..

It's mostly the liberal crowd which are opposing the lock downs.. right-wingers are a relative minority.. but only the right-wingers are reported by the left aligned media..that's the subtle subterfuge.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

StrangerlandToday 11:26 am JST

They are government employees

I think this says it all. The bitter reality is that it costs NOTHING for the government or a senior official inside to take a swing towards a helpless citizen using the law. It's not like the government employee even bears the risk of going to jail even if they take a clearly bad swing. All expenses will be taken from the Treasury, while the poor hapless citizen is just feeling happy he avoided prison. He just needs to figure out how to deal with the loss of a large chunk of his assets.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Do we motor along or do we do what Singapore has just done and go back into reasonably serious restrictions.

Well Singapore has actually eased the restrictions..that's the reason for the major surge in virus cases..but this will come down and than its back to normal.. this is what needs to happen n countries with strict lock downs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday  03:53 pm JST

I think this says it all. The bitter reality is that it costs NOTHING for the government or a senior official inside to take a swing towards a helpless citizen using the law. It's not like the government employee even bears the risk of going to jail even if they take a clearly bad swing. 

You may want to do a little more research about how governmental actors can be held accountable for taking “a swing towards a helpless citizen.”

1 ( +2 / -1 )

MySpace better be careful!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So free speech wishes to censor defamatory speech, but who decides what constitutes defamation? Sounds like suppression of government criticism.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I agree 1000%. It is freedom of speech not freedom of anonymous speech.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At some point Facebook will have to face the music and man up to all the harm and damage they have done to a complete generation. It's only a matter of time. Yes Facebook did a lot of good but it also did a lot of harm too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So if someone disseminates their comment via mail will this Coal-shovelling dictator fine the Australian postal service?

This is an attempt to criminalise Web 2.0 by the back door, following up on the Australian judiciary's attack on print media.

It's not a universal ban - Australia's politicians will still be able to broadcast lies with impunity as soon as they hit the campaign trail, promising voters stuff they will never deliver.

In the last couple of years Australia and NZ have really changed. They are now at the bottom of the list of places I would ever consider visiting. Even gun-crazy America is above them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“Coward’s Palace” should refer to 95% of the media that are afraid to report the truth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So free speech wishes to censor defamatory speech, but who decides what constitutes defamation?

The legislators will put together laws that define what constitutes defamation, however they are not the ones who determine if a given incident is defamatory, that is determined by the judiciary, who have no say in the content of the law, they just enforce.

I guess you didn't know that this is how democracies work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But if Labor says we need to go back into lockdowns, they too, will be smashed. People are over it.

People might be "over it" but the pandemic isn't. Too many people refusing to do the right thing is why this pandemic is still raging, and why new mutations keep cropping up. It is the "over it" crowd that is the reason we are not over it yet. A sense of obligation to something higher than oneself and some simple adult restraint would be a refreshing change from the constant whining about restrictions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Freedom, Free speech hidden behind a mask. Hmmmm. If you have got something to say. Say it. But be seen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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