Australia Is Opening Door to Social Media Defamation Liability

The Parliament of Australia is preparing to crackdown on social media trolls by preparing legislation that will hold companies legally responsible for defamatory material posted to their sites. A draft of the proposed law would require companies to have formal complaint processes in place to report online abuse and require they provide complainants with the identities of alleged bullies once certain criteria are met. The proposed legislation is scheduled to be released this week, and expected to come before the Parliament next year. It is part of the country’s broader effort to overhaul defamation laws. Continue reading Australia Is Opening Door to Social Media Defamation Liability

Australian Court Holds Media Firms Liable for User Comments

The High Court of Australia upheld a lower court ruling that found media companies — including newspapers and TV stations — that post on Facebook are liable for Facebook users’ comments on those posts. It stated that, by creating a public Facebook page, media outlets “facilitated and encouraged comments” from users and are responsible for defamatory content. News Corp Australia, a subsidiary of News Corp, and Nine Entertainment, which owns the Sydney Morning Herald, called for legislators to protect them from liability. Continue reading Australian Court Holds Media Firms Liable for User Comments