Fight Labor’s War on Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech is an essential human right and a fundamental principle of Australian democracy. Labor’s Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023 is a direct attack on freedom of speech.
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This legislation – which targets everyday Australians, independent media, and non-government political parties while carving out protections for government, mainstream media and approved organisations – would give the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) draconian powers to silence critics of the government by imposing fines up to $6.8 million on social media platforms if, in ACMA’s opinion, they “have not done enough” to prevent the dissemination of what ACMA considers to be misinformation or disinformation.
The big problem with the bill is its highly subjective definition of what constitutes ‘misinformation’ – basically, ‘misinformation’ will mean whatever the government wants it to mean. This could easily include legitimate criticisms of the government, questions about the science underpinning climate change ideology, questions about high immigration, questions about gender dysphoria, and the ‘no’ campaign against the voice to Parliament.
Don’t believe for a second the senior Coalition figures opposing Labor’s bill because when they were in government, the Coalition proposed very similar legislation just before the election. The major parties’ hidden agenda is the protection of their two-party system: they’ve watched votes leak to minor parties and independents over the years and they’re desperate to close down their communication efforts. If this bill is passed, you could even be saying goodbye to the Please Explain cartoon series.
We must take a stand for freedom of speech. We must fight for it. As Thomas Jefferson said, the tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Making sure that hard-won individual freedoms endure in our society requires constant vigilance. You can help defend freedom of speech in Australia by putting your name to One Nation’s petition against Labor’s anti-free speech bill. Let’s send the strongest possible message to Anthony Albanese: threaten our freedom of speech at your own political peril. Let’s help Pauline Hanson protect this most important of individual human rights.
One Nation is holding a crucial conference on August 26 in Brisbane CBD where we will bring speakers together and take action against this bill. Out link below.
Petition: Protect Freedom of Speech in Australia
We, the undersigned, believe that freedom of speech is an essential human right and a fundamental principle of Australian democracy. We express our deep concern regarding the proposed Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023, introduced by the Labor Party, which we believe represents a direct attack on freedom of speech.
We assert the following:
Subjective Definition of Misinformation: The bill's highly subjective definition of "misinformation" grants the government arbitrary power to determine what constitutes misinformation. This opens the door to the suppression of legitimate criticisms of the government, questioning of scientific ideologies such as climate change, immigration policies, gender dysphoria, and opposition to a voice in Parliament.
Draconian Powers of ACMA: The bill empowers the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with draconian powers to silence critics of the government. It allows for fines of up to $6.8 million to be imposed on social media platforms if, in ACMA's opinion, they have not done enough to prevent the dissemination of what ACMA considers to be misinformation or disinformation. This creates a chilling effect on free expression and inhibits open dialogue.
Protection of Government and Mainstream Media: The legislation carves out protections for government, mainstream media, and approved organizations, thereby creating an imbalance in the treatment of different voices and viewpoints. This not only undermines the principle of equality of speech but also reinforces a two-party system at the expense of independent media and non-government political parties.
In light of these concerns, we, the undersigned, call on the Parliament to:
Reject the Communications Legislation Amendment (Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023, recognizing that it poses a threat to freedom of speech in Australia.
Safeguard the principles of freedom of speech and expression as cornerstones of Australian democracy, ensuring that all individuals, media outlets, and political parties are equally protected in exercising their right to free speech.
Conduct a thorough review of the bill to address its subjective definition of misinformation and the imbalance in protections provided to different entities, aiming to foster a fair and inclusive environment for open public discourse.
We call on all members of Parliament to heed this petition, listen to the concerns voiced by the signatories, and act in the best interests of upholding freedom of speech and protecting the individual rights of all Australians.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
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