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Australia Authorities Mulling a Bill to Regulate Violent Online Content

Australia Authorities Mulling a Bill to Regulate Violent Online Content

In the wake of the Christchurch shootings, the Australia government has laid down strict regulatory measures for social media platforms streaming ungainly videos

The Christchurch terror incident horrified the world in Mankind’s capacity for evil, as gunmen entered mosques and opened fire on masses who had gathered for weekly prayers. The perpetrators were neutralized in a matter of hours, however social media platforms were filled with videos of the incident. Facebook reported that they took down over 400,000 videos of the incident from their platform, within 24 hours of it happening. The incident has forced world governments to consider the need for strict regulatory measures, for the content displayed on these platforms. The Australian government is the first to act on this pressing need, as they have proposed a bill, which will levy large fines, and prison time for executives, if any social media platform is found streaming such violent content.

If social networks fail to remove sensitive material being displayed on their platforms, relating to incidents such as terrorism, rape, kidnapping, or other such inhumane activities, the company could be fined up to 10% of their annual turnover, and their executives could face a prison term of up to three years. Many countries have a similar infrastructure in place, to stop the propagation of child porn. As social media penetrates deep into the lives of commoners, governments have begun realizing the need to regulate this form of media. The Australian government is also urging other world governments, part of the G2O group, to adopt similar measures.

Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, already have automated programs screening their platforms for appalling content. However, as witnessed during the Christchurch incident, users can easily make tweaks to their content, so that it avoids the moderation sweep. If stricter regulatory norms are widely accepted by world governments, then social media companies will have to up their security measures, or be ready to face the consequences.