Crikey readers were quick to answer the questions posed by this week’s Dylan Voller defamation decision, which found that media companies are liable for comments posted to their Facebook pages. As readers pointed out, the decision was inevitable and a long time coming. Elsewhere, readers weighed in on how the media can better interrogate government rhetoric (rather than merely acting as a mouthpiece), and discussed the ABC’s challenge to recent AFP raids.
Irena Sikorska writes: The Dylan Voller defamation decision is long overdue and hopefully a step towards a more respectful and tolerant society. There has been no accountability on social media to date, and people have taken full advantage to spit out their most hateful views, knowing full well they would never dare speak that way to someone in person. It’s harmful — not just to the victim, but to other decent people who shrink back into themselves and withdraw from conversations, allowing the social media bullies an even wider stage. The sooner the haters are denied a platform, the better.
David Ingram writes: Professional media companies rely on people coming to them for reliable, trustworthy news — otherwise they’re no better than ordinary bloggers, influencers or cute-cat-photo posters. They should take responsibility for comments on all their platforms. Employ moderators. Simple.
Peter Frank writes: I believe the answer lies in the significant increase in the real-time use of fact check. The regurgitation of government claims, even when “balance” is attempted by the inclusion of opposing claims, often leaves the reader none the wiser. Instead, like any serious article or book, footnotes should be provided to verify or reject. With so many of us reading online it would be technically very simple to insert a link to a fact check. Any government (or opposition) spokesperson would be on notice that they won’t be able to get away with the prevailing strategy of simply repeating lies so often that they’re ultimately accepted as the truth. Equally, the arrogant “in the bubble” type brush-offs would be brought to account.
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Charles Pickett writes: Since when can a same-old, same-old speech by Morrison be classified as news? It simply is not, and deserves to be ignored. In fact the only positive aspect of this so-called government is its inability to do almost anything on the policy front, greatly reducing potential damage.
Peter Schulz: The gob-smacking thing about this is not that an incompetent government is paranoid about the evidence of its incompetence leaking out, but that so many “ordinary Australians” see a bigger threat to our freedoms when a dumb footballer gets sacked for breaking his very lucrative contract by spouting bad theology.
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