New Australian laws could jail social media execs over terror images

Mr Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meet for bilateral talks following the National Remembrance Service for those killed

Mr Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meet for bilateral talks following the National Remembrance Service for those killed

The company would also be liable to be fined up to 10 per cent of its global annual turnover.

"Jail is for violent offenders not a marketing representatives in Australia of an American social media company", he added.

Facebook said it "quickly" removed a staggering 1.5 million videos of the white supremacist massacre livestreamed on the social media platform.

"This is about keeping Australians safe by forcing social media companies to step up and do what the community expects of them to stop terrorists and criminals spreading their hate", Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quoted as saying.

Australia's minister for communications Mitch Fifield said in a statement yesterday that the social media companies "did not present any immediate solutions to the issues arising out of the horror that occurred in Christchurch". If they don't, they could face fines up to $168,000 AUD for an individual and $840,000 AUD for a company.

Also, social media platforms anywhere in the world must notify the Australian Federal Police if they become aware their service is streaming such violent conduct happening in Australia.

For media outlets, the bill will have mechanisms allowing them to still be able to report on events without showing the abhorrent material itself.

"With respect to social media, these are some of the most powerful firms on the planet, they have powerful capability, their artificial intelligence probably knows what you're going to have for breakfast before you do".

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"They have the technology to do this, and the opportunity to do it, and we will insist they do it, and if they don't they will face the steepest financial penalties and prison terms for executives found responsible", Mr Morrison said.

Social media companies including Facebook were criticised for their handling of the Christchurch mosque attack where an alleged terrorist live-streamed his slaying of 50 innocent people.

"Foremost among these is to recognise how social media platforms are being weaponised by terrorists ".

It will be up to juries to determine if social media companies had breached the new laws.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said the amendments would be modelled on existing offences that require platforms to notify police if their service is being used to access child pornography.

The legislation described "abhorrent violent material" as any content produced by a perpetrator that captures terrorism, murder, attempted murder, torture, rape, and kidnapping.

Morrison has already written to the current G20 chairman, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, asking him to include social media governance as a top priority on the agenda at the next summit meeting in Osaka in June.

"Mainstream media that broadcast such material would be putting their licence at risk and there is no reason why social media platforms should be treated any differently", the Attorney-General said.

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