When Albert Einstein published his new theories around 1905 he challenged the established 'truth' of Newton's laws of physics. Einstein was attacked by the scientific establishment at the time who were wedded to, and career-dependent on, Newton's laws. Many sought to stop him. However, Einstein's theory ultimately became the new 'truth'.
This is how humans advance. 'Truth' is a view or perspective that is universally held, until such time as it is challenged, found to be faulty and replaced by a new view that becomes the new 'truth'.
The Australian government is proposing a law that will force digital platforms (Facebook, etc.) to be the determiners of what is 'true'. The government has put out a 'Fact Sheet' about this planned law and they are asking for your input.
The 'Fact Sheet' is here (with our markups)
We think it's important that the government receive many responses and we encourage you to do so.
The planned law is very broad in its reach covering "Misinformation and Disinformation" that will "cause serious harm"
- It defines misinformation as "content that is false, misleading or deceptive" but doesn't define what those things are, leaving that open to interpretation.
- It doesn't define what is 'harm', leaving that open to interpretation.
- The 'Fact Sheet' talks of "harm" that "…affects a significant portion of the Australian population, economy or environment, or undermines the integrity of an Australian democratic process."
- The law will cover almost anything that anyone says or thinks and that what is 'true' is to be determined by 'truth authorities' that supply 'truth' determinations to Facebook and other digital platforms.
- The law will not be constrained to criminal or potential criminal incitement, or to issues of defamation and so on. The law will cover anything.
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