Disinformation is Our Burning Platform – Government Action Urgently Required

Today’s report from the government’s media regulator ACMA shows once and for all that the digital platforms can not be trusted to manage the safety of their own information flows.

“The report and Minister Fletcher’s announcement the government will increase ACMA’s powers to hold big tech to account for harmful content is well overdue,” said Peter Lewis Director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology.

“It has been obvious for some time that the idea that advertising monopolies that are designed to keep their users on their platform for as long as possible should not manage their own affairs, as proposed by the industry.

“The ACMA report identifies significant shortfalls in industry self-regulation particularly around the distortion of public health information through the pandemic.

“It needs to be recognised that any limit on information flows works against the business models of these companies.

“As Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen exposed last year, platforms are well aware of the negative impact of their content models on their users yet choose to continue with business as usual.

“Research conducted by Essential Research to be released tomorrow shows that an overwhelming majority of Australians support placing greater requirements on providers with 73 per cent backing laws to top the spread of disinformation.

“Increasing platform accountability is important regulation that deserves bipartisan support.”

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