PM’s Qld showdown with tech giants
SOCIAL media executives will be today threatened with jail time if they allow dangerous terrorist content to fester on their platforms.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison - who has summoned the Australian chiefs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to Brisbane - will deliver the blunt ultimatum while also lobbying other world leaders to take similar action.
After growing frustration over social media giants' defiance to address the issue, which have been magnified after the Christchurch massacre, new criminal laws are now being drafted.
Under the Government's proposed laws, it would be an offence for social media giants to fail to remove terrorism footage as soon as it was reported or if they knew that the offending footage was being hosted on their platform.
The laws would allow the Government to declare the footage of an incident filmed by a perpetrator and being hosted on a content site as "abhorrent violent material", creating a separate criminal offence.
The longer the footage remained on the social media platform, the higher the penalties.
Alleged mass murderer Brenton Tarrant, 28, livestreamed his bloody slaying of 50 Muslim worshippers at two Christchurch mosques this month.
On March 18, Facebook released a statement saying the video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast, and it was viewed about 4000 times before it was removed from Facebook.
It said the first report on the original video was received 29 minutes after the video started.
In the first 24 hours, it removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack and more than 1.2 million videos were blocked at upload.
Mr Morrison, who is in Brisbane for Cabinet, will warn he will no take a backward step.
"We are considering all options to keep Australian safe,'' Mr Morrison said last night.
"We need to prevent social media platforms being weaponised with terror content.
"If social media companies fail to demonstrate a willingness to immediately institute changes to prevent the use of their platforms, like what was filmed and shared by the perpetrators of the terrible offences in Christchurch, we will take action."
It is understood Five Eyes nations, who met at the Gold Coast in August last year, encouraged social media companies to take up an offer to find a solution to a growing and foreseeable problem.
The Courier-Mail can reveal no one company took up the offer.
It is understood the laws could be expanded to be applied to other types of harmful and dangerous content.
The laws are modelled on existing offences that require social media companies to notify police of child abusers on their sites and compel content hosts sites to take down offending material.