Australian Government to introduce laws to combat misinformation, disinformation

Australian Government to introduce laws to combat misinformation, disinformation. By Zoe Samios.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher is planning to introduce legislation that will give Australia’s media watchdog more regulatory power over tech companies who fail to meet the standards of a voluntary misinformation and disinformation code of practice.

Under the code, misinformation is defined as false or misleading information that is likely to cause harm, while disinformation is false or misleading information that is distributed by users via spam and bots.

The new laws, which are expected to be introduced to parliament later this year, will make it easier to assess the effectiveness of self-regulation and help the government decide whether a compulsory code of practice needs to be introduced to tackle the issue. …

Despite efforts to self-regulate, websites such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter have been filled with harmful content about the coronavirus pandemic and more recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Fletcher issued a warning to the social media platforms earlier this month, urging them to immediately remove Russian state media content over concerns they were facilitating the spread of disinformation and promoting violence over the invasion of Ukraine.

This is only going to increase the trend towards only allowing speech in public that supports the narrative. Sites such as the Wentworth Report that disagree with the narrative …

The remedy for bad speech is good speech, not censorship by a class of bureaucrats and their allies lining their pockets with government money and stifling market competition for themselves.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific