New federal legislation that criminalises ‘abhorrent violent’ videos has passed into law, despite damnation from the IT sector and the Law Council of Australia.
The Unlawful Showing of Abhorrent Violent Material Act 2019 targets abhorrent videos that show terrorist attacks, murders, rape, or kidnapping and comes in the wake of the New Zealand massacre.
Social-media companies that fail to remove such content ‘expeditiously’ could face fines of up to 10 per cent of their annual profit, and employees could be sentenced to up to three years in prison. The tech companies must also inform the police when they discover the illegal material. Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses SC says the laws were rushed and come without a committee process.