Facebook-Backed Group Launches Misinformation Adjudication Panel in Australia


A tech body backed by the Australian units of Facebook, Google and Twitter said on Monday it has set up an industry panel to decide on complaints over misinformation, a day after the government imposed stricter laws on false and defamatory online posts. had threatened.

Prime minister Scott Morrison Last week dubbed social media a “coward’s palace”, the government said on Sunday it was looking at measures to make social media companies more responsible, including forcing legal liability on platforms for content published on them. includes doing.

The issue of harming online posts has sparked a second war between Big Tech and Australia, which last year passed a law requiring the platform to pay license fees for content that sparked a fluke. Facebook Blackout in February

Digital Industry Group Inc. (DIGI), which represents Facebook’s Australian units, alphabetical google, and Twitter, said its new misinformation inspection subcommittee showed the industry was ready to self-regulate against harmful posts.

DIGI Managing Director Sunita Bose said in a statement, the tech giant had already agreed on a code of conduct against misinformation, “and we wanted to strengthen it further with independent oversight and public accountability from experts.”

A three-person “independent complaints sub-committee” will try to resolve complaints about potential breaches of the code of conduct through a public website, DIGI said, but will not take complaints about individual posts.

The industry’s code of conduct includes items such as taking action against misinformation that could affect public health, which would include the novel coronavirus.

DIGI, which also represents Apple and TIC TocIt said a company may issue a public statement if it is found to be in breach of its code of conduct or revokes its signatory status with the group.

Reset Australia, an advocacy group focused on the impact of technology on democracy, said the oversight panel was “laughable” because there was no penalty involved and the code of conduct was optional.

“DIGI’s code is no more than a PR stunt given the negative PR surrounding Facebook in recent weeks,” Reset Australia’s technical policy director Dhakshayini Soriyakumaran said in a statement, urging regulation for the industry.

© Thomson Reuters 2021