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2 Apr 2019

Damien Cave, NY Times (USA)

Australia & New Zealand: Push for govt. intervention in regulating social media cos. intensifies after mass shooting

"Countries Want to Ban ‘Weaponized’ Social Media. What Would That Look Like?", 

What if live-streaming required a government permit...? What if Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were treated like traditional publishers, expected to vet every post, comment and image before they reached the public? Or like Boeing or Toyota, held responsible for the safety of their products and the harm they cause? Imagine what the internet would look like if tech executives could be jailed for failing to censor hate and violence... These are the kinds of proposals under discussion in Australia and New Zealand as politicians in both nations move to address popular outrage over the massacre this month of 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The gunman...distributed a manifesto online before streaming part of the mass shootings on Facebook... “Big social media companies have a responsibility to take every possible action to ensure their technology products are not exploited by murderous terrorists" said...Australia’s prime minister... The push for government intervention — with a bill to be introduced in Australia this week — reflects a surge of anger in countries more open to restrictions on speech than in the United States, and growing impatience with distant companies seen as more worried about their business models than local concerns... [Refers to Google (part of Alphabet)].