If you have been aware of the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, you would know that the attacker live streamed it on Facebook. Now, people have been questioning Facebook for why it did not act quickly enough to remove the video.
However, Facebook could have also done nothing as the live broadcasting feature is available for everyone. Also, Facebook’s live broadcasted videos are not checked in real time for violations. Only the pre-recorded videos on Facebook are passed through quality parameters and blocked if found to be a violation.
However, people are still blaming Facebook for the attacks. Now, we have the first casualty for media companies due to this attack. In Australia, a new law has been passed which states that social media companies are to be held responsible for “abhorrent video material” found on their platform. This is clearly a direct attack on Facebook on which the terrorist attack videos were posted.
Australia’s House of Representatives passed this new law ruling that social media companies will have to “expeditiously” remove the content that shows kidnapping, murders, rape, or terrorist attacks. However, the law states that if the companies fail to remove this content in a timely fashion then its employees could face some time in prison in Australia.
Also, companies could face some financial loss due to this law as well. Because this new law states companies, if found to be guilty, will have to pay a fine of up to 10% of their annual revenue.
Australia’s Attorney General Christian Porter said that “These platforms should not be weaponized for these purposes,” He further added that “Internet platforms must take the spread of abhorrent violent material online seriously,”. Now that Australia has passed this law, the country is being debated as to whether it is against the idea of free speech and is putting censorship and content moderation on the internet.