Australia is in line to introduce stringent laws including jail terms and multi-million-dollar fines for social media giants that do not take quick actions against violent material.
It will become the first country in the world to mark it as a criminal offence if social media platforms do not to remove offensive violent material quickly. The time-frame for the removal would be specified by a jury.
The government will attempt to bring two new sets of offenses in the criminal code, expected in the final week of parliament before the federal elections.
The punishment could vary from three years in jail for Australian or overseas executives to fines that can value up to 10% of the platform’s global annual turnover.
Platforms anywhere in the world must inform the Australian Federal Police if they become aware their service is streaming offensive violent conduct happening in Australia.
The prime minister Scott Morrison and Attorney general Christian Porter were not convinced and impressed after a meeting with social media companies recently. The meeting was held in response to the live-streaming of the Christchurch mosque incident.
Morrison said that the social media giants have a responsibility to take every possible action to ensure their technology products are not exploited or weaponized by terrorists.
The laws will prohibit streaming of murder, terrorism, attempted murder, torture, rape and kidnapping on social media.
However, the new laws will not have an impact on the reporting of media organizations as Australian mainstream media already adopted a sensible approach to broadcasting material.