Australia could jail Big Tech company executives who fail to remove extremist content from their platforms, according to a report.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is reportedly meeting with Google, Facebook, and Twitter executives on Tuesday to discuss proposed legislation which would threaten Big Tech company CEOs with prison if they fail to combat “extremist material” on their platforms.
The Australian Financial Review reported, Tuesday, that under “proposed laws, it would become a criminal offence if a social media company failed to remove footage as soon as possible after it was reported or otherwise becoming known to the content hosts that offending footage was distributed on their platform.”
“The laws would also allow the government to declare footage of an incident filmed by a perpetrator and being hosted on a content site was ‘abhorrent violent material’, and create a separate offence if it were not rapidly removed,” the Australian Financial Review explained, adding that “individual social media executives based in Australia would face the risk of penalties, including jail time.”
In a statement, Morrison declared, “If social media companies fail to demonstrate a willingness to immediately institute changes to prevent the use of their platforms, like what was filmed and shared by the perpetrators of the terrible offences in Christchurch, we will take action.”
“We are considering all options to keep Australian safe,” he continued.
New Zealand recently banned the Christchurch mosque shooter’s manifesto, ordering citizens to destroy any copies they possess.
Those caught possessing or sharing the manifesto could face a lengthy prison sentence, while one 22-year-old accused of sharing a video of the massacre online faces up to ten years in prison.
Social networks reportedly struggled to remove copies of the video following the attack, however, Facebook rejected calls for the platform to implement a television-style live video delay, claiming it would only create a longer response time for police to respond to incidents.