Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Act 2019 (Cth)
Arising from the mass-shooting in Christchurch, NZ, in March 2019, the Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Act 2019 (Cth) subjects a social media platform to a criminal offence (up to 3 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 10% of its annual turnover) if it fails to remove abhorrent violent material expeditiously. ‘Expeditiously remove’ is not defined and it will be a matter for judicial consideration. The Act introduces new offences into the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and came into effect on 6 April 2019. It contains a number of defences, including in relation to public interest. In addition, a global social media platform would be required to notify the Australian Federal Police if it became aware that its service was streaming abhorrent violent conduct which was occurring in Australia. Failure to do so would involve fines for individuals (up to $168,000) and corporations (up to $840,000).