- The Christchurch attack in New Zealand is the cause of the emerging law
- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO agrees that social media needs more support from the authorities
- The new social media law may prompt investors to fail to invest in Australian
Australia is set to introduce what can be termed as the toughest social media laws in the globe. Under the said law, judges are required to send social media executive to prison basing their decision on the content hosted on their platforms. The ruling party hastily drafted the law as a result of the attacks that happened mid march in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The law has had a share of criticism from social media and advocates. However, the Australian government hopes to be the first among many states to introduce the bill.
Genesis of the New Social Media law
During the attack that has brought about the entire huff, the attacker was able to stream live videos on Facebook which later spread to other platforms. A total of 50 people was killed, and dozens were wounded in the attack perpetrated by one gunman who was armed with semi-automatic weapons which are very rare to acquire.
There was a lash out directed to the social media giants throughout the world from various leaders blaming them for failing to contain the video’s exposure online. Lawmakers are demanding more stringent laws to govern social media, and Australia is the first nation to pass a law of this nature.
Brenton Tarrant Arrested
But then, social media representatives seem to think that this law is quite extreme denoting their effort in preventing violent videos from spreading online as full to their capacity. Facebook removed a total of 1.5 million videos of the attack within 24 hours of the incident. Brenton Tarrant, an Australian citizen, the suspect responsible for the attack was arrested and charged with murder.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO stated that social media needed more support from the authorities. Updating internet rules would help preserve the best parts about the internet such as the freedom it brings for people to express themselves.
The social media companies were warned that if they failed to remove the footage showing murder rate and other violent incidents filmed by the attackers, they would face hefty fines and even prison sentences of up to 3 years. The fines will be up to 10% of the platform’s annual turnover.
Criticism towards the Australian Law
A lot of criticism has been expressed with critics saying the law was hastily compiled without any consultation. Moreover, the law does not address the root causes of the problem such as hate speech.
Speculations suggest that there may be mass censorship of content in Australia; thus, social media companies may not be willing to invest in Australia. Recordings of human rights abuses by human rights advocates may end up being taken down in fear of heavy punishment.
Nevertheless, people who are against the law are waiting for a change in governance that could occur come this May when Australia holds its elections, then the law implementation may be derailed.