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Google loses defamation fight in Australia

By Aaron Raj for Tech Wire Asia
Tuesday, June 7, 2022

It’s been testing times for Google in Australia over the last few years. Last year, Australia passed a world-first law-making Google and social media giant Facebook pay for news content on their platforms.

Google has been approached for comment but have yet to say anything about the matter. Meanwhile, Ilia Kolochenko, Founder of ImmuniWeb, and a member of Europol Data Protection Experts Network reached out to Tech Wire Asia to share his views on the decision.

For Kolochenko, on one side, tech giants are indeed reluctant to moderate hate speech, mobbing, and sextortion posts, causing irreparable harm to the victims by sluggishness and negligence. However, on the other side, he believes that categorial content removal will certainly be incompatible with free speech and may hinder innovation.

Moreover, Kolochenko feels that cybercriminals may also abuse the proposed novelties by perfidiously suppressing genuine posts while propagating fake news campaigns in parallel. As such, there is also an increasing and alarming trend to hold online service providers accountable for content published by their users.

“For instance, in the US, amendments or even repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act are vividly debated. If such changes succeed, social media and countless other web resources may be sued for content or comments posted by their users,” he commented.

For Google, the sentencing may just open the door for future defamation cases against them, especially with hate speech becoming increasingly rampant on social media and the tech companies involved with them continue to be blamed for not doing enough to solve the problem, be it in Australia or globally. Read Full Article

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