The Australian government will introduce a new legislation to force social media companies “unmask” anonymous users who post offensive comments, or make them pay defamation fines if they are unable or refuse to do so.

The new initiative seeks to define social media giants as publishers, making them responsible for the user-generated content on their platforms, as well as introduce special mechanisms through which anyone can file a complaint and demand a post takedown if they think they are being defamed, bullied or harassed, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced during a televised press briefing on Sunday.

The online world should not be a wild west where bots and bigots and trolls and others are anonymously going around and can harm people. 

If a platform refuses to delete offensive content, a court may order it to reveal the identity of the anonymous commenter. In case the company again refuses or is unable to identify the troll – then it will be held ultimately liable and will have to pay any resulting fines. (RT)