Social media companies could soon be forced to end anonymity for online trolls. But will this stop the trolling?
Author Leah Hawkins
Date 24 November 2021
Australia’s federal government recently introduced legislation that would require social media companies to collect user details and hand over their identities in defamation cases. This is based on the assumption that abuse, bigotry and trolling on the internet is largely produced by anonymity.
In an article published in the ABC, ADM+S researchers explain how this premise is flawed, citing that the vast majority of online harm is perpetuated by verifiable accounts.
Associate Investigator Professor Daniel Angus notes that the worst offenders tend to use their real name, including some federal politicians. Instead of dealing with the epidemic of online harm, Prof Angus states that the proposed legislation is merely a distraction. “It’s the tried and trusted strategy of looking tough on something.”