Amanda Stoker admits to using a Facebook account with a fake name amid social media troll laws
Minister admits using FALSE name for her Facebook account – as Scott Morrison introduces new laws to try to eliminate cowardly trolls
- Scott Morrison introduces rules to tackle social media harassment
- Laws will force social media to disclose the identity of trolls on platforms
- Deputy Attorney General Amanda Stoker admitted to using an anonymous account
One of Scott Morrison’s deputy ministers admitted to using a Facebook page under a pseudonym while being asked about the government’s plans to stamp out online bullying.
Deputy Minister of the Attorney General Senator Amanda Stoker said that upon arriving in Parliament in 2018, she changed her personal Facebook account to use her first name followed by her middle name, rather than her last name.
“It was just so that my children’s privacy could be protected,” she told Sky News Australia on Monday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced new laws to reduce bullying and trolling online.
As part of the proposal, users will be able to demand that the platform remove the content who defames, intimidates or attacks them.
If the platform does not comply, there will be legal proceedings where the user can demand to know the name of the person who posted the offensive material in order to prosecute them.
Senator Stoker said she was not against the principle of anonymous accounts, but said they should not be used for trolling.
“If you do the wrong thing with it, it should be possible for you to still be held responsible for this behavior,” she said.
“If I used my account which doesn’t use my full legal name and used it to terribly defame someone, then it should be possible that the person I defamed could go to Facebook and say “I need the real identity behind this so I can sue it for libel” because that kind of transparency is needed for people to exercise their legal rights. “
Announcing his proposal on Sunday, Mr Morrison said he was particularly concerned about the impact of social media on Australian children.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) announced new laws on Sunday to reduce bullying and trolling online
“The online world offers a lot of exciting opportunities, but it comes with real risks and we have to address it, otherwise it will continue to have a very harmful and corrosive impact on our society, on our community,” he said. .
“The online world shouldn’t be a Wild West where bots, fanatics and trolls and others can (be) anonymously and can harm people and hurt people, harass and intimidate and drag them.”
Attorney General Michaelia Cash said the legislation, which is expected to be introduced in early 2022, is needed to clarify that social media platforms, not users, are responsible for the defamatory comments of others.
Confusion had been sown by a High Court ruling in September that Australian media, as users running their own pages on a social network, could be held liable for defamatory comments posted by third parties on their pages, a said Senator Cash.
Under planned Australian law, the social media companies themselves would be responsible for such defamatory content, not the users, she said.
It would also be aimed at preventing people from making defamatory comments without being identified, she said.
“You shouldn’t be able to use the cloak of anonymity online to broadcast your vile and defamatory comments,” the attorney general said.
Attorney General Michaelia Cash (pictured) said the legislation would aim to prevent people from making defamatory comments without being identified
The legislation would require social media platforms to have a designated entity based in Australia, she said.
Platforms could only defend themselves from being sued as a publisher of defamatory comments if they complied with the requirements of the new legislation to have a complaints system in place that could provide the details of the person making the comment, if necessary, said Senator Cash.
People could also ask the High Court for an “information disclosure order” requiring a social media service to provide details “to unmask the troll,” the attorney general said.
In some cases, she said, the “troll” may be asked to remove the comment, which could end the case if the other party is happy.