Facebook-backed group launches misinformation adjudication panel in Australia

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SYDNEY, Oct 11 (Businesshala) – A tech body backed by the Australian units of Facebook, Google and Twitter said on Monday it has set up an industry panel to decide on complaints over misinformation, a day after the government Had threatened strict laws on falsehood and defamation. online post.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week dubbed social media “a coward’s palace”, while the government said on Sunday it was looking at measures to make social media companies more responsible, including for the content published on them. Includes forcing legal liability on the platforms.

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The issue of harming online posts has emerged as a second war between Big Tech and Australia, which sparked a temporary Facebook blackout in February last year by passing a law requiring the platform to pay license fees for content. did.

Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI), which represents the Australian units of Facebook Inc (FBO), Alphabets (GOOGL.O) Google and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), said its new misinformation inspection subcommittee showed that the industry was ready to self-regulate against harmful positions.

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DIGI Managing Director Sunita Bose said in a statement, the tech giant had already agreed on a code of conduct against misinformation, “and we wanted to strengthen it further with independent oversight and public accountability from experts.”

A three-person “independent complaints sub-committee” will try to resolve complaints about potential breaches of the code of conduct through a public website, DIGI said, but will not take complaints about individual posts.

The industry’s code of conduct includes items such as taking action against misinformation affecting public health, which would include the novel coronavirus.

DIGI, which also represents Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and TikTok, said it would issue a public statement if a company is found to have violated the code of conduct or revokes its signatory status with the group. can do

Reset Australia, an advocacy group focused on the impact of technology on democracy, said the oversight panel was “laughable” because there was no penalty involved and the code of conduct was optional.

“DIGI’s code is no more than a PR stunt given the negative PR surrounding Facebook in recent weeks,” Reset Australia’s technical policy director Dhakshayini Soriyakumaran said in a statement, urging regulation for the industry.

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Richard Pullin

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