Twitter concerned Australia's anti-trolling Bill leaves minority communities vulnerable

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Twitter has joined other social media companies to call out Australia’s anti-trolling laws as an extreme risk to the privacy of Australians, particularly minority communities.

Kara Hinesley, Twitter Australia’s director for public policy, appeared before a Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee hearing on Tuesday afternoon to speak about its privacy concerns regarding the federal government’s anti-trolling Bill.

The Bill, currently before Parliament, seeks to remove the liability held by owners of social media pages for any defamatory material posted on those pages. If passed, it would also create the requirement for social media companies to identify people if they post potentially defamatory material.

“Under this bill, online platforms choose between facing liability in court or turning over private sensitive information about users without a legal determination as to whether the content is in fact defamatory under the law,” Hinesley said.

Hinesley added the requirement to identify people, even those using anonymous accounts, would adversely affect minority communities.

“We’ve seen a number of people both from a whistleblower space to even domestic violence situations, people that identify within the LGBTQIA community, utilising anonymous or synonymous accounts as ways and basically entry points into conversations about important matters,” Hinesley said.

“We do think

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