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Reuters has launched a panel of misinformation judges in the Facebook-backed group Australia


ছবি Reuters file image: The combination of Facebook, Google and Twitter logos can be seen in the image from the Reuters file. Reuters

Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A technology firm backed by the Australian unit of Facebook, Google and Twitter said Monday it had formed a special committee to investigate allegations of false information, a day after the government threatened tougher legislation on false and defamatory online posts.

The issue of online post damage has emerged as the second battleground between Big Tech and Australia, which last year passed a law to pay licensing fees to platforms for https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-media-idUSKBN2AO099 Content, a temporary Facebook blackout spread in February.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week called social media a “cowardly palace” https://www.reuters.com/technology/australian-law-chief-wants-defamation-rules-fixed-internet-age-letter-2021-10- 07, when the government said on Sunday that it was looking at steps to make social media companies more accountable, including emphasizing legal accountability on the platform https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australia-mulls-measures-making-social -Media-giant-responsible-defamation-2021-10-10 for the content published on them.

Digital Industry Group Inc. (DIGI), which represents Australian units Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ :), Google of the alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 and Twitter Inc. (NYSE :), says its new misinformation oversight subcommittee has shown that the industry is willing to self-regulate against harmful posts.

“Technology giants have already agreed on a code of conduct against misinformation, and we wanted to strengthen it through independent oversight of experts and public accountability,” DIGI managing director Sunita Bose said in a statement.

The three-person “Independent Complaints Sub-Committee” will try to resolve allegations of possible code violations through a public website, the DIGI said, but will not take complaints about individual posts.

The industry code of conduct includes items such as taking action against misinformation that affects public health, which will include new coronaviruses.

DIGI, which treats Apple Inc. (NASDAQ 🙂 and TickTock as signatories, said it could issue a public statement if a company violates the code of conduct or withdraws its signature status with the group.

Australian Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, who is among senior lawmakers who have pledged to crack down on misleading and defamatory content promotion platforms, welcomed the move.

“I am pleased that the DIGI is announcing a significant development to protect the code from misinformation and misinformation of Australians.”

But Reset Australia, an advocacy group focusing on the impact of technology on democracy, said the oversight panel was “ridiculous” because it had no fines and was code of conduct.

DIGI’s code is nothing more than a PR stunt due to the negative PR surrounding Facebook in recent weeks, ”said Kshyani Suryakumaran, tech policy director at Reset Australia, in a statement calling for control for the industry.

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