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Have you read the Misinformation Bill? I have questions...

Updated: Jul 27

Australia is facing a devastating and damaging blow to democracy with the proposed "Misinformation & Disinformation Bill.'

The Albanese government have proposed this Bill to limit and reduce the proliferation of false information by targeting the social media and tech giants with the threat of heavy fines and censorship of its users to limit and reduce the distribution of information under the guise of protection and safety. Misinformation & disinformation has become an everyday common phrase that has emerged during the covid pandemic to label dissenting voices from sharing, creating or responding to alternative facts & science that counter the very loud and allied mainstream media. Creating a sense of mis and distrust in scientists, doctors and government whistleblowers when they share opposing views or debate. Ironically these democratically elected leaders are using their power to diminish and stifle the free speech of the Australian public.

Polls show dwindling trust in the government institutions having hit record lows, while simultaneously existing in an era were the freedom to research and distribute information is at an all-time high.

The latest proposed Misinformation bill provides this summary on page 3 of the document.

'The ACMA has a graduated set of powers in relation to misinformation and disinformation on certain kinds of digital platform services. 1The ACMA may make digital platform rules requiring digital platform providers to keep records and report to the ACMA on matters relating to misinformation and disinformation on digital platform services. The ACMA may obtain information, documents and evidence from digital platform providers and others relating to those matters. The ACMA may publish information relating to those matters on its website.

Where there is no registered misinformation code, a registered misinformation code is deficient or there are exceptional and urgent circumstances, the ACMA may determine a standard to provide adequate protection for the community from misinformation or disinformation on digital platform services. Digital platform providers are required to comply with misinformation standards that apply to them.'

This is a major blow for the Australian public and the bleak state of democracy.

On further and closer investigation into the 64-page Misinformation Bill the outline of content, harm and intention of this bill creates more concern than it resolves.

When you consider misinformation you can be under the assumption they are referring to a person nonsensically babbling about lizard people and the earth being flat, however at closer inspection you see the restrictive parameters they are imposing and it doesn't take a medically trained doctor, scientist or ex government official to see the writing on the wall ( albeit it would probably be redacted ) to see how the political pressure that could ensue on the Australian public depending on the topic, source or narrative they share.

The Misinformation bill outlines the term "Content' to show the far-reaching, vague nature of what is included under this umbrella. As found on page 4 of the Misinformation bill.

Here are some the key topics to look at within this draft Bill. Content means :

(a) whether in the form of text; or

(b) whether in the form of data; or

(c) whether in the form of speech, music or other sounds; or

(d) whether in the form of visual images (animated or otherwise); or

(e) whether in any other form; or

(f) whether in any combination of forms.

Harm means any of the following:

(a) hatred against a group in Australian society on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or physical or mental disability;

(b) disruption of public order or society in Australia;

(c) harm to the integrity of Australian democratic processes or of Commonwealth, State, Territory or local government institutions;

(d) harm to the health of Australians.

(e) harm to the Australian environment.

(f) economic or financial harm to Australians, the Australian economy or a sector of the Australian economy.

Misinformation and disinformation

(1) For the purposes of this Schedule, dissemination of content using a digital service is misinformation on the digital service if:

(a) the content contains information that is false, misleading or deceptive; and

(b) the content is not excluded content for misinformation purposes; and

(c) the content is provided on the digital service to one or more end-users in Australia; and

(d) the provision of the content on the digital service is reasonably likely to cause or contribute to serious harm.

When we discuss harm in regard to freedom of speech, we are talking about words and phrases and in NO way conflate intended and/or calls for physical harm or property damage.

However, these vague and broad draft proposals leave me with more questions that seem impossible to answer without granting the totalitarian tip toe. Who determines harm?

Do we rely on courts to determine offense?

How is offense determined? Is it hurt feelings? Is it disagreement? So when I look to the outline I (easily) come up with some questions that would be deemed harmful, that need fair and open debate NOT censorship.

Discrimination against gender identity?

Is that speaking about the underage consent laws being floated through Parlaiment or the mutilation of minors?

Disruption to public order?

Does that mean protests like we saw for BLM, Covid Lockdowns, Political legislation or environmental gatherings? Last time I checked, that was an enshrined democratic right under freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom to protest. Harm to the health of Australians?

Like Covid vaccines? Or Mask mandates or lockdowns? Is that speaking about the bought and paid for food pyramid that has been shown to be corrupt, outdated and funded by the very people who stand to make millions?

Harm to the environment?

Is that speaking or sharing posts on the resource collection of solar panels and the slavery that is involved in third world countries? Is it speaking about the lack of planning and discarding of solar panels and their lack of recyclability after their 20 years of use?

Harm to Australian economy?

Is that keeping politicians accountable on their government money printing and spending? Or the NDIS program not being monitored with a 9 billion dollar over spend through scams?

These are some basic questions that could be shared across social media platforms that benefit the Australian public to know, question and debate.

Freedom of speech is a VITAL foundation to a successful and thriving democracy.

Again, I have questions....

Who reprimands the government and social media companies if they make false claims or have to retract a statement?

People like Jay Bhattachyra, Graham Hancock, Michael Schellenberg and Matt Taibi who have been in opposition to medical, scientific and journalistic reporting have proven to be right after months of industry push back, how would they oppose the general narrative for the betterment of the people?

Why would the governmental bodies solely be appointed to be the adjudicators & moral arborator of free speech when covering EVERY SINGLE ISSUE in history, present and future on every single topic?

Under what structure do they determine what is true information and what is false?

Over time from years to centuries the information of science WILL change with new information and new technologies. It should inspire young scientists and leaders to challenge and innovate scientific theories to keep them honest and current?

Where is the line between stats and anecdotal experience? You could give me a stat that is true generally, but false to my personal circumstance. Isn't that how we collate information by listening to anecdotal stories and finding common threads. We can't do that if there is only ONE true answer.

Dissenting voices where once the heretics of society and are now the seen as the visionaries and philosophers. Martin Luther King was once a voice that was deemed unsatisfactory at the time and is now one the greatest speakers in history. He continued speak. Our government would now censor such voices.

One governmental body cannot have all the relevant information, that is why we have specialists in multitudes of fields who spend decades researching topics. How can we trust the nuance and complex research a paid government body reads to determine truth?

Who determines how offensive and to what degree the information is wrong? How wrong is wrong... 50%, 80%? Is it a little bit wrong if it has some truth or does need to be 90% truth with complexity?

Who is monitoring said government to assure that corruption and conflict of interest isn't at play?

How can we know the government isn't in a pay to play scheme with selected scientists and vice versa?

Why would we pay these bodies to monitor information if they do not have access to radical, cutting-edge ONGOING investigations that can't be fact checked yet?

What happened to journalism and investigative reporting? Will they just become a PR function for the government?

Can we take a minute to appreciate the Human rights violation? This would be when inviting the government to speak for us on our behalf and surrendering our Human rights?

It will be damaging to democracy and the main foundations of FREEDOM of EXPRESSION, SPEECH and CHOICE.

Are we willing to have a global disconnection from international news and events?

Have we learnt nothing from history and government over extending power?

Conspiracy theories that were once laughed at have been proven right over time regardless of government narrative control.

Covid origins and censorship, this information is slowly but surely finding its way to the surface and exposing the corruption and underhanded choices that have been made. Thanks to free speech.

How do we know where the crazies are? I want to know where the Commies and ideologues are. I can't stay away or debate them if they are pushed underground to do more damage.

What about asking for help? I have a child with eczema, the medical association recommend bleach baths as their practice, but I recommend organic treatments... Is that misinformation for offering alternative health against the medical association?

I thought we were all about lived experience. What if your experience goes against a narrative does that make your experience or the experience of a minority not real?

Do you want to change your speech by death of a thousand censorship strikes. You may not change your speech but if your business is online be sure your principles and values will be nudged in a different direction over time before you realise it.

What about Whistleblowers and industry insiders? How do they share their story or experience if the government monitor their speech? We rely on insiders to share information we don't know in relation to corruption and crime.

LASTLY and the most important. WE ARE NOT CHILDREN.

We choose to live in a FREE society where we choose to be responsible, tax paying, law abiding citizens. It is OUR right to free and open discussion because we can use discernment, research and choice. WE don't need ANY one telling us what to think...

Thats Communism, that's Fascism

- We live in a Democracy and if we learn WRONG information or incorrect information, that's our right. To be wrong, to be misinformed and ignorant because we live in a society where our choices mean we can learn, grow and change our opinion without intervention of propaganda - Even if we are wrong. Because I trust in freedom of speech, I trust in the freedom to find information unencumbered by the government, I trust that open debate will elevate and highlight the best ideas for our society. That good ideas rise to the surface through scrutiny, inquiry and logic.

Bad ideas get eradicated with good ideas through debate not totalitarism and authority treating us like infantilized idiots that need safeguards and barriers for our feelings. I want the truth, I want the real honest truth, whether it hurts, offends or scares me.

That is democracy, freedom to know the truth. We can handle it. We are Australian.

I implore you to share you views on the topic by emailing the government HERE

To see the FULL Misinformation bill, Click the link HERE

About the Author. Hi! I'm Sam. Mother to two boys and Partner to Aron, my main focus is always my family. Which is why I'm so passionate about social culture and what's going on the world because I want to guide my family to a healthy, supportive and free society for their future. I have home schooled, became a multi business owner and ran a movement through covid and want to share how you can create and provide for your family even if it means going against the 'norm'.

To learn more follow me on social media.

Twitter : @sammoir11

Instagram: @ samanthamoir_

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