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ACMA Granted New Powers Over Meta, Twitter, TikTok

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will be granted more power to crack down on misinformation on social media platforms, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has confirmed.

The ACMA will be able to hold the likes of Meta and Twitter accountable for harmful content posed on their platforms, with a new compulsory code of conduct that gives the regulator “information-gathering and record-keeping powers”.

“Misinformation and disinformation pose a threat to the safety and wellbeing of Australians, as well as to our democracy, society and economy,” Rowland said in a statement.

“A new and graduated set of powers will enable the Acma to monitor efforts and compel digital platforms to do more, placing Australia at the forefront in tackling harmful online misinformation and disinformation.

“The Albanese government will consult with industry and the public on an exposure draft of legislation in the first half of this year and looks forward to constructive engagement with stakeholders and industry.”

Digital Industry Group Inc, who represents Meta, Twitter, Apple, and Facebook, welcome the code.

Managing director, Sunita Bose says the group is “committed to driving improvements in the management of mis- and disinformation in Australia, demonstrated through our track record of work with signatory companies to develop and strengthen the industry code”.

“We welcome that this announcement aims to reinforce Digi’s efforts, and that it formalises our long-term working relationship with the Acma in relation to combatting misinformation online,” she concluded.

The proposed laws will be legislated by the end of the year.

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