Australian PM proposes defamation laws forcing social platforms to unmask trolls

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is introducing new defamation laws that would force online platforms to reveal the identities of trolls, or else pay the price of defamation. As ABC News Australia explains, the laws would hold social platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, accountable for defamatory comments made against users.

Platforms will also have to create a complaint system that people can use if they feel that they’re a victim of defamation. As a part of this process, the person who posted the potentially defamatory content will be asked to take it down. But if they refuse, or if the victim is interested in pursuing legal action, the platform can then legally ask the poster for permission to reveal their contact information.

And if the platform can’t get the poster’s consent? The laws would introduce an “end-user information disclosure order,” giving tech giants the ability to reveal a user’s identity without permission. If the platforms can’t identify the troll for any reason — or if the platforms flat-out refuse — the company will have to pay for the troll’s defamatory comments. Since the law is specific to Australia, it appears that social networks wouldn’t have to identify trolls located in other countries.

“The online world should not be a wild west where bots and bigots and trolls and others are anonymously going around and can harm people,” Morrison said during a press conference. “That is not what can happen in the real world, and there is no case for it to be able to be happening in the digital world”

As noted by ABC News Australia, a draft of the “anti-troll” legislation is expected this week, and it likely won’t reach Parliament until the beginning of next year. It still remains unclear which specific details the platforms would be asked to collect and disclose. Even more concerning, we still don’t know how severe the case of defamation would have to be to warrant revealing someone’s identity. A loose definition of defamation could pose serious threats to privacy.

The proposed legislation is part of a larger effort to overhaul Australia’s defamation laws. In September, Australia’s High Court ruled that news sites are considered “publishers” of defamatory comments made by the public on their social media pages, and should be held liable for them. This has caused outlets like CNN to block Australians from accessing their Facebook page altogether. However, the ruling potentially poses implications for individuals running social pages, as the ruling implies that they can also be held responsible for any defamatory comments left on their pages.

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Valheim devs tease Hearth and Home update additions, show off buff trolls

Valheim has enjoyed a lot of success out of the gate in early access, and now there are a ton of people who are waiting to see what kind of content is added to the game in the coming months. Valheim‘s developer Iron Gate Games has indicated that the first big update for the game, titled Hearth and Home, is on the way, and today it shared more teasers for the incoming update. The company also shared that it’s been working on some graphics updates as well.

Specifically, Iron Gate says that it has been working on graphics updates for the troll, the second boss named The Elder, and the third boss named Bonemass to “give their old models some new fresh looks.” The new looks, Iron Gate says, better align with how the company envisions Valheim, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any images of the new models for The Elder or Bonemass.

We did, however, get to see an image of the new troll model, which you can see embedded above. If you haven’t played Valheim in a while, the new troll might not look dramatically different from the old one, but the new model does have more hair and improved nails. It’s also noticeably more muscular than the old model, so you can look forward to encountering these buff behemoths roaming the black forest when this update arrives at some point in the future.

Iron Gate didn’t share too much regarding the Hearth and Home update, though it did publish two teaser images which we’ve included both above and below. The first image is a tiny one that seems to focus on a pair of player feet potentially wearing new boots resting at what could be the base of a new throne. The second image shows off what could be a new type of ore, which lines up with the fact that Iron Gate says there are “many new items relating to it.”

Sadly, we didn’t get a release date for the Hearth and Home update today, with Iron Gate saying that it won’t decide on one until the update is in a state that it’s “happy to release it in.” We’ll keep an eye out for that release date and any new teasers Iron Gate decides to share, but in the meantime, try to figure out what is being teased in those two new images above.

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