Owners of social networks can face imprisonment for failing to take down violent content from their platforms, quickly. The Australian government has introduced new laws regarding the violent content on social media on Thursday. The lawmakers and the opposition labor party voted in favor of the new legislation. This legislation is the “world’s first” after the horrifying Christchurch mosques massacre.
These new laws will make it a criminal act for the social media platforms to not remove any violent content quickly and the speed of the removal will also be taken into notice by a jury. If any company fails to take down violent material, this would result into three years jail time for the companies executives or they would be charged with fines reaching up to 10% of the platform’s global annual income.
Under this law, the e-safety commissioner has the power to issue notices which will bring this type of violent material to the attention of the social media giants. After receiving this type of notice the clock will start ticking for the companies and they will have to take down the content as soon as possible.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “Big social media companies have a responsibility to take every possible action to ensure their technology products are not exploited by murderous terrorists”
He also stated, “There are many actions we need to take to keep Australians safe in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attacks, and our government has been getting on with that job.”
Communication Minister Mitch Fifield said that the new rule will not have any impact on the reporting of media organizations. The representative of the Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc and the managing director of the Digital Industry Group said, “No one wants abhorrent content on their websites, and DIGI members work to take this down as quickly as possible”.
This effort to prevent violent material from spreading through the social media is in the wake of the Christchurch Mosques Attack, which 49 Muslims were killed and dozens were left seriously injured. The attacker live-streamed 17 minutes shooting video on Facebook, and was viewed live 200 times by the Facebook’s users.