With internet advancement and the vast usage of social media. Hate speech and racism comment have become a serious problem online. It is therefore important for Australia to engage in regulations and code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online.
Thanks to the progress of science and technology, everyone’s social communication has been transferred to the online world, but there are many hate speeches in the online world. However, these hate speeches have many influences.Illegal hate speech spread on the Internet can have a lot of negative effects, not only on the groups and individuals attacked. In today’s open society, there are many people who call for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination, which will also have a negative impact on them. Democratic speech on online platforms can also have a chilling effect. Therefore, in order to ensure that illegal online hate speech is not spread virulently on online platforms, relevant policies should be formulated.
“The Conduct Code on Anti-Illegal Hate Speech” require social media companies to remove illegal content and hate speech that could lead to irresponsible and overly broad censorship, Social media should be withdrawn immediately. One example is German law and the European Code of Conduct 2016, which shows that public authorities are strictly responsible for enforcing social media companies and should remove hate speech. This article will discuss the concept of online regulation, iIts historical basis and why should it apply to Australia.
Recently, social platforms have had the responsibility to regulate hate speech and illegal speech, even on a passive basis. So the code of conduct came about because of the need to prevent imminent food violence and to maintain public order. (O ‘Regan,2018). Since the appearance of social media, there have been many attacks on the Internet. For example, over 1,000 examples of content on Facebook, the Rohingya and other Muslims. These are the real hate speech on the Internet (Mozur, 2018).
That’s where the code of conduct came in. For Europe, in May 2016 the European Commission (and later, the code) launched a code of conduct with Microsoft’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in response to the proliferation of racist and xenophobic hate speech online. So far, eight companies — notably Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Microsoft, Instagram, Dailymotion, Snapchat and Jeuxvideo.com — have followed the code.As far as the EU code of conduct is concerned, IT companies are also working with the European Commission and EU member states to tackle illegal hate speech on the Internet. In the Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008, illegal hate speech are those expressing racism and xenophobia and they are detrimental to the society as a whole (European Commission, 2020).In a joint statement issued on 24 March 2016, the Justice and Home Affairs Committee in Brussels stated that “In order to combat terrorist propaganda and draw up a code of conduct for online hate speech in June 2016, the Commission will strengthen its cooperation with IT companies, in particular the EU Internet forums.” (European Commission,2016) For Germany, this is a volksverhetzung and requires social media to clear these hate speech (Article 19, 2018).
Application into Australia
This code of conduct on combating illegal hate speech online should apply to Australia. Australia has only recently introduced specific criminal laws for online hate speech, and its social media platforms have been self-policing. The effectiveness of existing regulations has been called into question, and while regulation of hate speech is handled by platforms and governments, recent incidents have included the broadcast of the Christchurch massacre on social media platforms. In response to the broadcast of the Christchurch Massacre, the Sharing of Abominable Violent Material Act of 2019 was swiftly enacted (NBC, 2019)
The application should be in Australia for that Australia is a multinational country and that any form of hate speech with affected the multicultural and multiracial landscape of Australia should be discouraged and banned. Besides, Australia is one of the nations which have wide internet coverage and that the usage of social media such as Facebook and twitter are large and widespread.
Regulated companies must acknowledge that there is a problem with hate speech online, which is an important argument for media companies to regulate platforms, and that companies need to take action and monitor it. As Gillespie puts it, “Social media platforms provide more opportunities for people to interact, more people to reach out to each other and have a wider range of conversations and interactions.” (2018, p. 1). Media companies need to implement moderate regulation to protect the public interest, and must recognize their role in public discourse.
The contents that requires changes needs to consider social media network. The society will benefit from this form of interference and that these mega companies of social media should have the right to take down these contents. For these contents cause the threat to the harmonious society and then conflicting interest to the parties.
There are concerns that governments continue to pressure tech companies to regulate their platforms to a degree that could threaten freedom of expression. U.S. tech companies are increasingly concerned about protecting free speech, based on the values of the U.S. Constitution. This interest has an inherent effect on their terms of service and regulations. There are broader questions about the regulatory decision, what constitutes’ hate speech ‘and what kind of content falls within it. Regulators and media platforms have different definitions of hate speech. Decisions to regulate content and remove based on these definitions are complex because the platform wants to avoid the idea of censorship.However, code of conduct for removing of hate speech online is not like censorship. It is the practice of removing those that are causing social disorder, discrimination and harassment. Governments, along with other platforms and social media companies, should share the collective responsibility and pride of promoting and promoting free speech in the online world. It is very important to regulate speech on online platforms. In Australia, social platforms should be obliged to remove hate speech and illegal speech. Both the government, regulators and media companies should adopt some policies or regulations to restrain people’s hate speech on the Internet. Through constraints and policies, the harmony of network communication can be achieved and the attackers can be protected from harm. There are many advantages of regulating online speech, but at the same time, it is also very difficult and many obstacles. No matter from which aspect, good regulation needs the cooperation and support of everyone.
Article 19 (2018). Germany: Responding to ‘hate speech’. [online] London: Article 19. Available at: https://www.article19.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Germany-Responding-to-%E2%80%98hate-speech%E2%80%99-v3-WEB.pdf.
Council of EU. (2016). Joint statement of EU Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs and representatives of EU institutions on the terrorist attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/03/24/statement-on-terrorist-attacks-in-brussels-on-22-march/
European Commission. (2020). The EU Code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online. Retrieved from: https://ec.europa.eu/info/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/combatting-discrimination/racism-and-xenophobia/eu-code-conduct-countering-illegal-hate-speech-online_en
Gillespie, T (2018). Custodians of the internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media: Yale University Press. Retrieved from: http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1834401&site=ehost-live
Mozur, P. (2018). A Genocide Incited on Facebook, With Posts From Myanmar’s Military. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/technology/myanmar-facebook-genocide.html
NBC (2019). New Zealand mosque shooting in Christchurch. Retrieved from: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/new-zealand-mosque-shootings.
O’Regan. C. (2018) Hate Speech Online: an (Intractable) Contemporary Challenge?, Current Legal Problems, 71 (1): 403–429