Australia to enact new law unmasking online trolls

The Australian government will be able to access the personal information of social media users if they post defamatory comments.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday the country will introduce legislation that would compel platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to hand over that data.

Canberra has been examining the responsibility of social media in publishing defamatory material.

The new announcement comes after Australia's highest court ruled publishers can be held liable for public comments on online forums.

That ruling caused some news companies like CNN to deny Australians access to their Facebook pages.

The new legislation will also introduce a complaints mechanism, allowing users to require a platform to take down potentially defamatory material.

If that content is not withdrawn, a court process could force a social media platform to provide details of the commenter.

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