Australia will fine social media companies up to 10 percent of their annual global turnover and imprison executives for up to three years if violent content is not removed “expeditiously” under a new law passed by the country’s parliament.
The new law is in response to a lone gunman livestreaming his attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, killing 50 people as they attended Friday Prayers.
The gunman broadcasted his attack live on Facebook and it was widely shared for over an hour before being removed, a timeframe Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as unacceptable.
It is now an offense in Australia for companies, such as Facebook Inc and alphabet’s Google, which owns Youtube, not to remove any videos or photographs that show murder, torture or rape without delay. Companies must also inform Australian police within a “reasonable” timeframe.