Australian Facebook and Google Backed Group Launches Misinformation Adjudication Panel

An Australian tech group backed by Facebook and Google announced on Oct. 11 that it has set up a panel that will address online misinformation.

Digital Industry Group Inc. (DIGI), which is also backed by Twitter and other tech giants, revealed the special committee a day after Australian authorities threatened to crack down on social media over false information online.

According to DIGI’s statement, tech giants that are committed to the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation will be required to report their mechanisms for addressing such issues.

DIGI developed the code in response to Australia’s 2019 legislation that holds social media platforms accountable if they fail to remove inappropriate posts.

Sunita Bose, DIGI Managing Director, said that the code of conduct already regulates its tech giant signatories, “and we wanted to further strengthen it with independent oversight from experts, and public accountability.”

DIGI added that it has appointed an “independent complaints sub-committee to resolve complaints about possible breaches by signatories of their code commitments.”

However, some groups urge more regulation in the tech industry, including advocacy group Reset Australia which points out that DIGI’s code of conduct does nothing to penalize wrongdoers.

The code of conduct used by DIGI is “pointless and should be replaced by an independent public regulator with the power to inspect and audit algorithms,” said Reset Australia in a statement earlier this year.

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