(Bloomberg) — Social media platforms will be required to reveal the identities of anonymous online trolls or face making defamation payouts under new legislation proposed by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
People who believe they have been defamed online will be able to get court orders directing online giants such as Twitter Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc., the company formerly known as Facebook, to identify the individuals responsible for posts, Morrison said at a press conference Sunday. If the social media platforms fail to do so, they will have to pay defamation costs.
“The online world presents many great opportunities, but it comes with some real risks and we must address these,” he said. The government “is making sure people are responsible for what they say” and ensuring companies “are on the hook” for damaging material posted to their platforms, he added.
Under the current law, social media companies are not considered to be the publishers of material posted to their platforms. If a user makes defamatory comments on a Facebook page, for instance, legal responsibility lies with the owner of the page. The bill is due to be discussed in parliament this week, and comes after the country’s highest court ruled that media companies can be held liable for comments left on their accounts by members of the public.
A spokeswoman for Meta said the company is waiting to see the proposals in more detail before commenting. Twitter didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment made outside of office hours.
Australia’s eSafety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, said previously that such a policy would be difficult to execute. “It would be very challenging, I would think, for Facebook for example to re-identify or identify its 2.7 billion users,” she said last year during a Senate Estimates hearing.
In February, Meta’s Facebook responded to a separate attempt to regulate how it does business in Australia with a show of force. It briefly blocked all news sharing in the country in response to a proposal that it should be required to pay publishers for that content.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Public Advisory: Update on Provincial Alert Level; Minister Haggie Available to Media – News Releases – Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Based on the current epidemiology of the province, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, advises that the province will remain in the modified Alert Level 4 until at least January 24, 2022. A further assessment on the province’s Alert Level will be made at that time.
The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, will hold a media availability today (Monday, January 17) at 2:30 p.m. to discuss Alert Levels.
The availability will be live-streamed on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and on YouTube. All media covering the availability will join by Zoom only. To participate, please RSVP to Jillian Hood (email@example.com) who will provide the details.
Media planning to participate must join at 2:15 (NST) to be included on the availability.
– 30 –
Health and Community Services
Social media challenge supports late Betty White’s love for animals – Globalnews.ca
Hollywood icon Betty White would’ve been 100 years old today.
To honour the Golden Girls star’s support for animal advocacy, people around the globe are celebrating the Betty White Challenge — recognizing what would’ve been a milestone by contributing to White’s favourite cause.
Winnipeg Humane Society CEO Jessica Miller told 680 CJOB that White’s love for animals is something that shone through in many of the tributes the late actress received in recent weeks.
“Loving animals is just such a sincere, true show of character, and Betty was certainly that. She was a very, very beloved advocate and animal lover,” said Miller.
“When this got brought to our attention, we thought, wow, that’s such a nice way to honour such a lovely lady. We decided we would accept donations but we wouldn’t technically ask for them.”
The challenge, spurred on by the social media hashtag #BettyWhiteChallenge, encourages fans to donate what they can to a local animal shelter on White’s birthday.
Miller said anyone wishing to donate on White’s behalf can do so online.
“We’ll see what happens throughout the day,” she said. “Whatever comes in for our animals is amazing.”
Social media challenge supports late Betty White’s love for animals
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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