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Top Australian Officials Slam Social Media Giants For Extremism And Misinformation

Australia’s top police officer and the director-general of ASIO have criticised social media companies, accusing them of fuelling extremism and hindering investigations with encryption.

Following two stabbing incidents in Sydney, the conduct of social media giants has come under intense scrutiny. 

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AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw is set to address the National Press Club, where he will argue the spread of misinformation and disinformation on social platforms.

“The consequences of defiance and indifference from social media companies are clear,” Commissioner Kershaw will say.

He will accuse social media companies of worsening the situation by not curbing extremist content effectively. 

“Their indifference and defiance are pouring accelerant on the flames,” he will add.

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The criticism comes amid a dispute with platform X over the takedown of graphic footage related to the recent Sydney church stabbing.

Kershaw will also highlight concerns about online safety for children. 

“We used to warn our children about stranger danger, but now we need to teach our kids about the digital-world deceivers,” he will say.

ASIO’s director-general, Mike Burgess, will join Kershaw to address the encryption issue. 

Burgess will raise concerns about Australians using encrypted chat platforms for extremist activities. 

“ASIO’s ability to investigate is seriously compromised. Obviously, we and our partners will do everything we can to prevent terrorism or sabotage, so we are expending significant resources to monitor the Australians involved.”

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