Australia To Introduce New Laws Combating Online Misinformation

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Mar 23, 2022

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Australia’s media regulator will be able to make internet firms share data about how they handle harmful misinformation.

A War Against Misinformation

The proposed laws will empower the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to hold Big Tech companies liable for harmful content posted on their platforms. 

“Digital platforms must take responsibility for what is on their sites and take action when harmful or misleading content appears,” said the Minister of Communications Paul Fletcher in a statement. 

“This is our Government’s clear expectation—and just as we have backed that expectation with action in recently passing the new Online Safety Act, we are taking action when it comes to disinformation and misinformation.” 

The minister added that the regulator would get new powers to “enforce industry codes or make industry standards”. The government hopes that would push tech companies, such as Google, Meta, and Twitter to dig deeper for solutions. Furthermore, ACMA will be able to force companies to take tougher measures if their efforts prove inadequate.

Last year, a group of digital platforms launched a voluntary code aimed at addressing online misinformation in the country. The companies, grouped under the DIGI industry body, include Meta, Apple, Twitter, and Snapchat.

The group says it supports the government’s move and will set up procedures to comply with the proposed laws.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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