Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
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Anti-Trolling Bill Yet Another Morrison Broken Promise

01 April 2022

The Morrison Government has cruelly let down Australians harmed by online abuse by failing to even try to pass its long promised Social Media (Anti-Trolling) Bill.

MARK DREYFUS
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS 

ANTI-TROLLING BILL YET ANOTHER MORRISON BROKEN PROMISE

The Morrison Government has cruelly let down Australians harmed by online abuse by failing to even try to pass its long promised Social Media (Anti-Trolling) Bill.

In November last year the Prime Minister and Attorney-General announced the government would introduce “some of the strongest powers in the world when it comes to tackling damaging comments from anonymous online trolls and holding global social media giants to account.”

Just two months ago Senator Cash declared the anti-trolling bill to be a “priority” for the Government, and one of two bills (along with the Religious Discrimination Bill Mr Morrison also failed to deliver) the Prime Minister was “fundamentally committed to.”

As always with Mr Morrison it’s all announcement and no delivery. Just like the integrity commission he promised and then never even introduced, the anti-trolling bill he promised would “protect our kids” and no longer “allow social media platforms to provide a shield for anonymous trolls to destroy reputations and lives” has not even been brought to a vote.

With no further sitting days for either House before the election the Social Media (Anti-Trolling) Bill is now dead.

What an insult to all those committed people and organisations who have pleaded for action to protect people, especially children, from the harms caused by social media trolling.

What an absolute insult to the witnesses, like Sonya Ryan of the Carly Ryan Foundation, who generously spent their own time and resources providing evidence to an inquiry into a bill the Morrison Government then couldn’t even be bothered bringing to a vote. 

This is a tired, cynical and dishonest government committed only to making announcements, never to delivering.

Action is needed to protect Australians, and especially children from the ugly, harmful and cowardly online trolls.

Social media platforms do have a responsibility to stop their platforms being misused by anonymous users to incite violence, spread disinformation and abuse and defame people with impunity.

FRIDAY, 1 APRIL 2022