Scott Morrison says social media platforms are publishers if they don’t want to identify users

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has criticized tech giants for the behavior that occurs on their platforms, saying the platforms would be considered publishers if they did not want to identify users who post offensive and offensive content.

“Social media has become a palace of cowards where people can just go on, not say who they are, destroy people’s lives and say the grossest and most offensive things to people, and do it with impunity,” he said. Morrison said at a press conference. .

“Companies that [do not] say who they are, well they are no longer a platform. He’s an editor, and you know what that means in terms of these issues. So people should be responsible for what they say in a country that believes in free speech. ”

Morrison’s comments on social media platforms follow comments by Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce ABC National Radio earlier Thursday that Australia would crack down on disinformation on social media.

Federal Attorney General Michaelia Cash is also said to have written to her state counterparts in an attempt to overhaul the country’s libel laws.

The Minister of Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, told the National Press Club yesterday that there was “no doubt that disinformation or misinformation is a problem. on social networks “.

Comments from various federal government officials on social media liability come after Australia’s High Court ruled last month that administrators of social media posts are responsible for defaming reader comments.

Since the decision, CNN news outlet has deactivated its Facebook page in Australia.

Australia currently has a voluntary code of practice for disinformation and disinformation on social media. The code asks its signatories – Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Redbubble, TikTok and Twitter – to be aware of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when crafting proportionate responses to disinformation and disinformation.

While the voluntary code of practice is still in place, Fletcher said on Wednesday the government would keep it “under close scrutiny.”

“If we think the voluntary code is not enough, we will certainly consider more direct regulatory action,” he said.

In the United States, the Senate investigated Facebook’s operations, declaring the company “morally bankrupt”, calling “the choices made inside Facebook” “disastrous for our children, our privacy. and our democracy “. .

During the investigation, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told the Senate that Facebook “chooses to grow at all costs” – meaning profits are “bought with our security”.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday released a statement denying the allegations.

“We care deeply about issues such as safety, well-being and mental health. It’s hard to see coverage that distorts our work and our motivations. At the most basic level, I think most of we just don’t recognize the false image of the company that is being painted, ”Zuckerberg wrote in a note to Facebook employees that he posted publicly on his Facebook page.

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