Social Media Sites Must Be Held To Account

Social Media Sites Must Be Held To Account

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie

States Tackle Social Media Together

Victor P Taffa

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie says social media sites must be held accountable for removing content which has the potential to influence trials.

It comes as a working group was formed at today’s Standing Council on Law and Justice (SCLJ) in Brisbane to address the growing problem of prejudicial comments on social media.

“This issue has reared its head in a number of high-profile cases and it is critical for the State and Federal Governments to act now to prevent further problems.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“Irrespective of the context or forum, nobody should be making comments which could have an impact on a trial before the courts.”

“The problem goes well beyond the individuals and rests with the social media sites that allow them to be posted.”

“Ideally, we would like these companies to work with the States and the Federal Government to help us find a solution.”

“Creating laws in this space can be problematic as one blanket law is probably not going to suit every jurisdiction.”

“There is a real opportunity for these organisations to say ‘we will not let our social media sites participate in these activities’ and they should be proactive on the matter.”

Mr. Bleijie also expressed serious concerns about the time and cost related to making defamation claims against posts on social media.

“A real problem we have is that some organisations are based overseas and do not have offices in Australia.”

“This makes it virtually impossible for someone in Queensland to pursue defamation action.”

“There is a great deal of ground to cover in this area, but this working group is a good start in determining the initial plan of attack.” Mr. Bleijie said.

The working group will consult social media organisations, news media organisations, justice officials, law enforcements authorities and the courts before making recommendations.

In 2009 when The Southern Thunderer was being established Editor Victor P Taffa made the conscious decision not to have facebook or twitter for The Southern Thunderer. These forums have their place however they did not suit the style of The Southern Thunderer.