CNN Blocks Aussies From Its Fb Pages, Citing New Legal responsibility Ruling

CNN has banned the Australians from its Facebook pages there – the latest chapter in Australia making itself the crash test dummy of comprehensive social media regulation.

As reported by Reuters, AT & T’s own news network (for the time being) prevented Aussies from seeing its Facebook presences after the Australian Supreme Court held publishers liable for comments posted by readers in their public comment sections.

In that September 8 ruling, the High Court ruled on a complaint made by a man whose detention in juvenile detention led to hostile comments on Facebook pages of Australian newspapers. The judges upheld a lower court ruling in which they wrote that “the actions of the complainants in facilitating the posting of comments by external Facebook users encouraged and thereby aided them in making them the editors of these comments”.

CNN complained that Facebook was not completely closing comments on its pages; The Reuters story quoted an unnamed Facebook spokesman as saying the company had given CNN its latest comment management aid.

With the liability of editors for what readers speak on their website, Lucky Country has moved radically away from the principles set forth in the United States by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This 1996 Act states, apart from criminal acts: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or spokesman of information provided by any other information content provider.” a social forum falls on the person who posted it, not the site that hosted it.

Many politicians are now denouncing “CDA 230”, but for different reasons depending on the party: Democrats often say that social platforms have no consequences if they omit misinformation and hate speech, while Republicans say they waive liability for platforms that moderate “otherwise offensive” . Language suppresses right-wing voices. (No matter how well many prominent right-wing commentators do on Facebook.)

In the meantime, the First Amendment continues to protect the underlying right of private companies to choose what to publish.

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CNN is cutting its Australian audience off its social media presence, it’s the second time Aussies have been geofencing. In February, the government passed a law, the mandatory bargaining code for news media and digital platforms, which forces social platforms and search sites to negotiate compensation for state-approved news publishers. In response, Facebook blocked Australians from sharing news links and also blocked Australian publishers’ Facebook pages that could be viewed anywhere in the world – essentially turning an entire continent into the news equivalent of a penal colony.

Days later, Facebook lifted those bans and said it would give Australian publishers the option to make payments through their Facebook News feature, which highlights content from select publishers. Now, these publishers may be hesitant to participate if it exposes them to complaints of offended comments.

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