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Australian Government Grants Itself More Powers to Stop ‘Online Misinformation and Disinformation’

The ACMA claimed they would not determine truth, but failed to mention how they could then accurately determine mis- or disinformation.

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The Australian government will grant its media regulator new powers to tackle “online misinformation and disinformation.”

The Australian Communications and Media Authority announced last week that the federal government is set to legislate to give it more powers to allow it to “hold digital platforms to account” if they don’t tackle “harmful” online “misinformation and disinformation.”

Currently, a voluntary digital code exists, created by the Digital Industry Group Inc, whose members include Meta, Google, TikTok, Apple and Twitter. However, the ACMA will be empowered to create a new industry code that applies not just to DIGI signatories, “should… self-regulation measures prove insufficient in addressing the threat posed by misinformation and disinformation.”

The new “framework” will look to address “systemic issues” on online platforms. The media regulator will also be granted new powers of “information-gathering and record-keeping” in order to address the efforts in tackling misinformation and disinformation.

The ACMA declared that they will not have a role in determining “what is considered truthful,” but in that case, did not mention how they could enforce any failure to tackle misinformation or disinformation.

“Authorised electoral content” will not come under the purview, nor will “professional news.” The ACMA did not define who would count as being a “professional” news organisation. Australians will be provided with “stronger tools” to report misinformation and disinformation online, although no specifics were provided.

“Misinformation and disinformation poses a threat to the safety and wellbeing of Australians, as well as to our democracy, society and economy,” said Michelle Rowland MP, the Minister for Communications 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.”

Sunita Bose, the managing director for the DIGI, welcomed the announcement, and said that they were “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.”

Speaking to the World Economic Forum last year, Julie Inman Grant, the Australian eSafety Commissioner, said that key human rights, such as free speech, must be subject to “recalibration” when it came to the online sphere.

She argued that “freedom of speech,” needed to be rethought when it came to balancing it with the supposed integral freedom to be protected from “online violence,” a term that Inman Grant didn’t expand on. She further suggested that “data protection” should be balanced with “the right to child dignity.”

In her role, she leads “the first government regulatory agency committed to keeping its citizens safer online.” The agency was set up after the passing of Australia’s controversial Online Safety Act.

The agency has the power to “protect people from online abuse,” and includes 4 various reporting schemes, including one designated to stop “cyberbullying.” They can give civil penalties to any “online service providers that do not comply” with removal notices. Nowhere on the site does it define what is classified as “online abuse.”

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Jack Hadfield
Written By

Jack Hadfield is the Associate Editor at Valiant News. An investigative reporter from the UK, and the director and presenter of "Destination Dover: Migrants in the Channel, his work has appeared in such sites as Breitbart and The Political Insider. You can follow him on Gab @JH, on Telegram @JackHadders, or see his other social media by visiting



  1. Avatar

    Lena J. Addington

    January 28, 2023 at 11:29 am

    $95 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…And what’s awesome is I’m working from home so I get more time with my kids. Here’s where I went,

  2. Avatar


    January 28, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    MODS!! please blackhole these damn scam ads!!

  3. Avatar

    Marc Anderson

    January 29, 2023 at 6:48 am

    So who gets to decide what is misinformation and disinformation and will they be required to show proof? Otherwise it is just censorship.

    • Avatar


      January 29, 2023 at 9:54 am

      Australia , NZ , Canada and GB are MAGGOT SHT , WE SAVED THIER SOCIALIST , COMMIE ASSES IN WWII !! Boycott these clowns !!

  4. Avatar

    Daniel Haines

    January 29, 2023 at 7:07 am

    Gee, this can’t go wrong. So much for freedom of speech, or the exchange of ideas.

  5. Avatar

    Thomas Cordell

    January 29, 2023 at 7:33 am

    Isn’t it ironic that the folks who promoted there is your truth and there is my truth and there is no absolute truth for us. Now want to be the keepers of the truth about such things.

  6. Avatar

    CPO Bill

    January 29, 2023 at 7:48 am

    Well, it is a commie run country!

  7. Avatar


    January 29, 2023 at 8:23 am

    OPPS there it is – They used to emulate us, now we emulate them

  8. Avatar


    January 29, 2023 at 8:44 am

    Sadly they have chosen to give up one more right. It started with their guns and then their borders. Each day we have less in common with them. Perhaps time for a divorce in terms of defence commitments. Doubt they will like being slaves of the Chinese. We all make choices and then frequently have to live with them.

  9. Avatar

    Bonkers Billabong

    January 29, 2023 at 9:43 am

    Once you “rethink” freedom of speech, it no longer exists. Legislators doing the “rethimking” are the tyranrs that have extinguished it. Might be time for Australians to “rethink” their recognitition and respect for their government, because it lacks the same for their God given rights.

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