Australian minister wins defamation case following tweet
The outcome of the case was not unheard of in a country with notoriously strict defamation laws, but it was unusual that the accused was not another politician or high profile journalist, said Michael Douglas, senior lecturer in private law at the University of Western Australia.
“It is consistent with the theme that this government is content to adopt a very harsh approach to online discourse that it does not like,” he said. He added: “Cases like these are a warning that unless something changes we are going to see more and more cases like this, and every Australian should exercise caution before making a quote retweet and call a politician a name. “
Mr. Dutton has indicated his intention to crack down on deceptive or defamatory content on social media. In March, he Recount a local radio station: “Some of these people who are trending on Twitter or have anonymity from different Twitter accounts, they post all these statements and tweets that are downright libelous – I’m going to start picking some of them out. them to pursue.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison echoed this sentiment in October, when he swore the government would do more to hold social media giants accountable.
“Social media has become a palace of cowards, where people can just go on, not say who they are, destroy people’s lives and say the grossest and most offensive things to people and do it with impunity,” he said. Mr. Morrison said.
In May, John Barilaro, then Deputy Premier of New South Wales, sued Australian YouTuber Jordan Shanks for libel, claiming that two videos Mr Shanks uploaded incorrectly suggested he was corrupt, had perjured and blackmailed. He also said Mr Shanks had been racist in attacking his Italian heritage, including calling him a “grassroots crook, fed on spaghetti”.
Mr. Shanks’ channel, FriendlyJordies, which has 600,000 subscribers, is known for its comedy and political commentary.