WorldAustralia / Oceania


Australia Passes Law Against Violent Social Media Content

The law criminalize websites that fail to take down violent content quickly.
Posted at 2:44 PM, Apr 04, 2019

Australia passed new legislation that could jail tech executives if they take too long to remove violent content from their platforms. 

The country's parliament voted to approved the controversial Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material bill Thursday.

The law criminalize websites that fail to take down abhorrent content "quickly." That content includes terrorism, murder, attempted murder, torture, rape and kidnapping. 

Penalties include up to three years in jail for execs and a fine of the U.S. dollar equivalent of $7.5 million for the company or 10% of its annual revenue, whichever is larger.

Australian Attorney General Christian Porter told parliament, "Together we must act to ensure that perpetrators and their accomplices cannot leverage online platforms for the purpose of spreading their violent and extreme propaganda -- these platforms should not be weaponized for evil."

Critics say the bill was rushed to be passed. Labor Party member Mark Dreyfus called it "clumsy and flawed." As the BBC points out, the time frame for what is considered too long hasn't been defined.

The bill is in response to the deadly Christchurch mosque shootings last month that killed 50 people and injured dozens more. Violent video of the killings were spread across social media sites.