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Australia Challenges Facebook to Back Anti-Troll Defamation Law

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that if Facebook Inc leaves Australia over-rules holding it accountable for defamation on its platform, it will demonstrate that it has no interest in making the online world safe.
Australia proposes to make global internet corporations divulge the identity of people with anonymous accounts if another person accuses them of defamation, the latest in a series of measures to hold them more accountable for content on their platforms. If the social media firm fails to provide this information, it will be held legally responsible. The proposed law would also hold social media companies liable for defamatory comments left on their platforms by publications.
When asked if he was concerned that Facebook would leave Australia because of the new rule, Morrison told Nine News that doing so “would be an admission that they have no interest in making the internet world safe.”
Morrison claimed it was not free speech to “hide in your basement as a masked troll and abuse, harass, and stalk people.” “If you want to say something, say who you are, and if the social media company allows you to do so while wearing a mask, we’ll hold them accountable.”
A spokeswoman for Facebook declined to comment. The parent business, Meta, has previously stated that it cannot reasonably be expected to monitor all comments on its website for defamation and that it frequently has less access to users’ pages than the users themselves.
Representatives from Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, which is controlled by Google, declined to comment. Twitter has stated that it complies with legal requests for user information regularly, but that it recognizes the significance of safeguarding whistleblowers.
Global social media giants threatened to leave Australia in February due to rules requiring them to pay media outlets for information that appears on their websites.
During the dispute, Facebook removed all third-party material from Australian accounts for more than a week before resuming service and striking deals with media companies to reimburse them.



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