Following a landmark ruling by an Australian judge that declared publishers are legally responsible for pre-moderating comments on social media sites, media companies and Facebook are working to adapt to their new legal reality.
On 24 June, in the New South Wales supreme court Judge Stephen Rothman ruled that commercial entities, including media companies, could be regarded as the publishers of comments made on Facebook, and as such had a responsibility to ensure defamatory remarks were not posted in the first place.
The judgment could have significant impacts as to how news organisations in Australia interact with Facebook and prompted a negative response from the country’s largest media companies.
It is expected that Australia’s competition commission, the ACCC, will present its final report into the extent of social media company dominance in the Australian market on 30 June. Official government response will follow afterwards.