People who troll or make defamatory comments on social media will be identified and arrested for the same in Australia

In its latest statement, the Australian government announced that social media companies will henceforth be forced to disclose the identity of users who post what they consider to be “defamatory material.” This initiative was pushed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who believes this is the best way to “unmask anonymous users online.”

This law was designed to establish in online communities rules similar to those of the publishing world, in which any writing or opinion has to go through severe scrutiny before reaching Facebook or Twitter.

“The anonymous trolls are on notice, their identity will be revealed and they will be held accountable for what they say. Big tech companies are aware of this new law, so they will need to remove anonymity or start being held accountable for what their users post,” the Prime Minister’s statement said.

The Prime Minister’s office argues that, if social media platforms adhere to this regulation, users who take advantage of anonymity to publish fake news, malicious content and to the detriment of third parties may be subject to legal action.

While the document does not mention what mechanisms social platforms will be able to implement and specifies that there is no formal bill, the Prime Minister assures that during the next week the initiative will be presented and a consultation process will be implemented.

So far no other public institution in Australia has spoken out on this plan, so it has not been explained whether this law involves the collection of user data, in addition to the one that some experts believe that it would be too complex for social media companies to implement functional mechanisms to validate the personal information of all users.

This is not the Australian government’s only proposal to combat these practices; A few months ago, Australia’s High Court ruled that media publishers could face consequences for defamatory comments in response to their Facebook posts.

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