Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has condemned the Morrison Government’s response to the ACCC digital platforms as a disgraceful attack on free speech.
“That the same Coalition who rightly thought in 2013 that having a public interest media advocate run the ruler over the media was an attack on free speech, now believes Canberra bureaucrats should decide what is and isn’t fake news represents a fundamental failure of liberal democratic principles within the Coalition,” said Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy at the IPA.
“It is always highly concerning when the government seeks to regulate the public debate. Free and open debate is what confers democratic legitimacy on the elected government, not the other way around.”
“The idea that there will be a ‘voluntary’ code to regulate ‘fake news’ is just terrible. Bureaucrats in Canberra will determine what is fake and what is not which will be a disaster.”
“A voluntary code will turn into a mandatory law administered by a future Labor government. This will turn into another Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme, a bad law introduced by a Coalition government that public servants can use to go after conservatives.”
“Having a government agency like ACMA oversee a code of conduct on ‘fake news’ should terrify us all. It is one or two steps removed from Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth,” said Mr Rozner.