Scott Morrison reveals he and Jenny spend EVERY night worrying about whether their children are being abused and harassed on social media
- Scott Morrison is introducing rules to crack down on bullying on social media
- The laws will require social media to disclose identities of trolls on platforms
- The Prime Minister hopes the move will help weed out ‘bots and bigots’
- He revealed he thinks about how his two daughters are treated online
Scott Morrison has revealed he and Jenny worry every night about whether their daughters are being bullied online.
The Prime Minister said he believes every Australian parent feels the same way when discussing his new laws to reduce online trolling.
‘I doubt there is a parent in this country who does not on a nightly basis have concerns about what their children are being exposed to online and the abuse and harassment that can take place,’ he told Parliament in Question Time on Monday.
‘I know I feel that way is a parent, Mr Speaker, and I know Jenny does.’
Scott Morrison has revealed he and Jenny worry every night about whether their daughters are being bullied online
Scott Morrison and Jenny are pictured with their two daughters Abbey and Lily
Under Mr Morrison’s proposed laws, social media users will be able to demand platforms take down content that defames, bullies or attacks them.
If the platform fails to comply, there will be a court process where the user can demand to know the name of the person who posted the offensive material with a view to suing them.
Announcing his proposal on Sunday, Mr Morrison said he was particularly worried about the impact of social media on Australia children.
‘The online world provides many great opportunities but it comes with some real risks and we must address these or it will continue to have a very harmful and corrosive impact on our society, on our community,’ he said.
‘The online world should not be a wild west where bots and bigots and trolls and others can (be) anonymously going around and can harm people and hurt people, harass them and bully them and sledge them.’
Attorney General Michaelia Cash said the legislation, expected to be introduced in early 2022, was needed to clarify that the social media platforms, and not the users, were responsible for defamatory comments by other people.
Confusion had been sown by a High Court ruling in September that found Australian media, as users managing their own pages on a social network, could be held liable for defamatory third-party comments posted on their pages, Senator Cash said.
Under the planned legislation, the social media companies themselves would be responsible for such defamatory content, not the users, she explained.
It would also aim to stop people making defamatory comments without being identified.
‘You should not be able to use the cloak of online anonymity to spread your vile, defamatory comments,’ the attorney general said.
Attorney General Michaelia Cash (pictured) said the legislation would aim to stop people making defamatory comments without being identified
The legislation would demand that social media platforms have a nominated entity based in Australia.
The platforms could defend themselves from being sued as the publisher of defamatory comment only if they complied with the new legislation’s demands to have a complaints system in place that could provide the details of the person making the comment, if necessary, Senator Cash said.
People would also be able to apply to the High Court for an ‘information disclosure order’ demanding a social media service provide details ‘to unmask the troll’, the attorney general said.
In some cases, she said, the ‘troll’ may be asked to take down the comment, which could end the matter if the other side is satisfied.