Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, today welcomed the release of the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation by the Digital Industry Group (DIGI).
The new Code, the development of which will be overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), is an industry initiative to combat the spread of harmful disinformation online.
“We’ve all seen the damage that online disinformation can cause, particularly among vulnerable groups,” Minister Fletcher said. “This has been especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The Morrison Government will be watching carefully to see whether this voluntary code is effective in providing safeguards against the serious harms that arise from the spread of disinformation and misinformation on digital platforms.”
ACMA will report to government no later than 30 June 2021 on initial compliance with the code and its effectiveness in responding to the problems identified by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its Digital Platforms Inquiry.
“I look forward to receiving ACMA’s feedback, which will guide us on whether further action is needed,” Minister Fletcher said.
The Code was developed by DIGI in response to the Digital Platforms Inquiry. DIGI is an industry association advocating on behalf of the digital industry in Australia, and developed the code in consultation with platforms and interest stakeholders.
The Code aims to empower consumers to make better informed choices of digital content, disrupt advertising and monetisation incentives, strengthen public understanding through strategic research, and improve transparency over measures used to combat disinformation and misinformation.