More stick, less carrot: Australia’s new approach to tackling fake news on digital platforms

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An urgent problem for governments around the world in the digital age is how to tackle the harms caused by mis- and disinformation, and Australia is no exception.

Together, mis- and disinformation fall under the umbrella term of “fake news”. While this phenomenon isn’t new, the internet makes its rapid, vast spread unprecedented.

It’s a tricky problem and hard to police because of the sheer amount of misinformation online. But, left unchecked, public health and safety, electoral integrity, social cohesion and ultimately democracy are at risk.

But what’s the best way to manage fake news spread? How can it be done without government overreach, which risks the freedom and diversity of expression necessary for deliberation in healthy democracies?

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