The Deep State is on the march and have been filling Christian Porter’s mind with silliness.
“My own view is that online platforms, so far as reasonably possible, should be held to essentially the same standards as other publishers,” he said.
“The playing field between digital platforms and mainstream media is completely uneven.”
My RMIT colleagues Chris Berg and Aaron Lane explain the difference between the media and social media today in the SMH:
It makes sense that newspapers and broadcasters are liable for what they publish. They actively commission and produce the content that appears on their services. They read it, edit it, arrange and curate it. They pay for it. Newspapers and broadcasters have not only an editorial voice, but complete editorial control. Indeed, it is this close supervision of what they publish that gives them strength in the marketplace of ideas.
Social media platforms do nothing of the sort. Not only do they not commission the content that appears on our newsfeeds (let alone read, factcheck, or edit that content), they don’t typically confirm that their users are even real people – not, say, bots or foreign impersonators. They merely provide a platform for us to communicate with each other. Social media has facilitated a massive, global conversation. But it has no editorial voice.
As I have argued social media is part of the great conversation of humanity – traditional media is not.
Chris and Aaron have to explain some basics to the Minister.
Even if the Attorney-General’s proposal was a good idea in principle, this policy would be particularly devastating for the conservative movement that supports his government. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a legislative proposal that would more effectively, and immediately, cut down the Australian conservative movement online.
After all, what side of politics benefits most from the political diversity and openness of the modern internet? What side of politics has relied most on the internet’s ability to bypass traditional media gateways? It is difficult to imagine the conservative political surge in recent years without social media – without Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all those podcast platforms.
… not to mention Catallaxy.