Australia’s Communications Minister Tells People To Report Social Media Posts to the Chief Censor

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by Didi Rankovic, Reclaim The Net:

Australia’s push for more online censorship sparks debate as the Communications Minister urges citizens to report speech to the eSafety commissioner.

Australia’s Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has urged citizens to report content posted on social sites to what’s known as the country’s “chief censor,” the eSafety commissioner.

Appearing on the ABC Radio Sydney Breakfast, Rowland explained to host Craig Reucassel what the current government thinks should be done about “misinformation.”

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Often-repeated assertions were heard that there is dangerous misinformation on social media along with exposure to “reactions and rumors” that traumatize users – because, for example, they are able to view breaking news videos “with no censorship.”

(This last bit is what rubs Reucassel the wrong way, and it has to do with the recent Sydney stabbing attacks that he would evidently like “nicely packaged” first, in that way controlling how the public learns about an event and reacts to it.)

And so, clearly, both the minister and the host agree that the government should step in (even more) and intervene, the only question is, how?

One of the ideas is to come up with yet another “voluntary” (voluntary as in, “or else…”) code of conduct for tech companies, probably along the lines of what is already happening in the EU.

The purpose would be to get platforms to remove even more content that’s labeled as “misinformation.”

Right now, the eCommissioner is the official who can order comments removed, but a “voluntary code” would obviously expedite things.

In the meantime, since according to the minister, platforms aren’t “doing enough,” she encouraged citizens to report content to the eSafety commissioner, turning themselves into some sort of “government censorship helpers.”

Reucassel exhibited quite the zeal for censorship, remarking during the conversation that ABC Radio Sydney Breakfast flagged content on TikTok (also related to one of the Sydney stabbings), but accused the platform of not removing it.

The host revealed that the media outlet told TikTok, “We’re taking down all this footage that’s happened in the Wakeley stabbing, we’re trying to regulate that kind of stuff.”

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