Say NO to Dangerous ‘Misinformation’ Legislation

We MUST reject this modern version of book-burning:

While we rightly should use the phrase “Never again” for no repeats of the Holocaust, we can perhaps use it in other key areas. After two years of covid hysteria, fear porn and lockdown madness, all sensible people should be saying never again to such Big Brother repression, intimidation, and incarceration of the masses.

But hot on the heels of one of the biggest cases of disinformation and misinformation – if not outright con jobs the world has ever seen – we are now finding throughout the Western world governments introducing bills to limit the free flow of information – all in the name of suppressing “misinformation” and “disinformation.”

Australia is just one of a number of countries looking to crack down on the free flow of ideas and expression under the guise of weeding out “false information.” We have seen all this before of course. Just consider what Facebook and other social media outfits are doing with their so-called “factcheckers.”

Any point of view that goes against their agenda is pulled down as misinformation. Any ‘wrong’ thoughts and ideas that those in power deem to be unfit or dangerous to their existence are removed and those who share these ideas are thrown in the social media slammer.

Of course while they used different terms back then, this is no different to what we saw in Germany 80 or so years ago. Back then they simply called it “book burning.” The Nazi government disliked the populace having access to ideas that ran counter to their ideology and agendas. The same is true of today’s governments – and woke businesses, tech giants, Big Media, and so on.

Here in Australia we have a draft bill called the “Communications Legislation Amendment (Combating Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill.” It is a nasty piece of work which must be rejected entirely. Plenty of individuals and groups have already spoken out against this. Let me briefly mention just a few of them.

The Australian Christian Lobby strongly sounded the alarm on this:

The Albanese Government is proposing the Combating Misinformation and Disinformation Bill, which would see the government define what truth is and give power to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and online platforms (META, YouTube) to enforce it. The government and mainstream media would be exempt from the rules of this bill.


The Albanese Government would empower ACMA to stop the spread of what it deems as “misinformation” (false information) or “disinformation” (deliberately false information) if it has the potential to cause “serious harm.” Critics argue that the definition of harm is subjective and dependent on the judgment of anonymous bureaucrats.


This bill essentially aims to enable tech companies to censor what the government perceives as problematic speech. The government would be the ultimate authority of truth. Ideological conformity would be enforced in Australia. The impacts would be devastating.

FamilyVoice has said this about this nefarious bill:

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) can’t be trusted to police ‘fake news’. John Stuart Mill once said: “All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” Yet we know from bitter experience that the cabal of health experts and self-interested premiers who sought to control the Covid narrative were all too capable of making grave mistakes.


The past few years have shown us that many things declared as “fake news” one day end up being proven truthful several months down the track. Catastrophic policy errors are best avoided by robust debate. Scientific progress relies on the ability to refute the consensus. Science ceases to function when freedom is denied. This legislation must be vigorously opposed. Illiberal measures to control online mischief would be far more harmful than the misinformation itself.

They also offer concerned citizens an easy way to contact the government to voice their disapproval. See here:

Law professor Augusto Zimmermann said this in part about the dangerous nature of the proposed legislation:

The concept of ‘harm’ peddled by the bill is illusory, and its content would be subjectively determined by a powerful government agency. The definition of what is and what isn’t harm is malleable and can expand and contract depending on ACMA’s prevailing views. Ultimately, any type of speech with which the government is uncomfortable could be deemed ‘harmful’. For example, describing “disrupting social order” as serious harm could be interpreted to stop the organization of legitimate political protests. This could certainly be used to suppress legitimate political speech that should be part of a functioning democracy.


Above all, ACMA would gain sweeping powers to require any person to appear at a time and place of its choosing to answer questions about misinformation or disinformation. These powers include infringement notices, remedial directions, injunctions and civil penalties, including fines of up to AU$550,000 (US$358,000) for individuals and AU$2.75 million for corporations. Criminal penalties, including imprisonment, may also apply in cases of alleged “extreme harm.” The provisions found in this law proposal put the communications and lives of free-thinkers, human rights defenders, independent journalists, and ordinary citizens under constant risk.

But it is not just religious groups and conservative groups which are rightly sounding the alarm about this bill. Even secular left groups have spoken out. Here is part of what Human Rights Commissioner Lorraine Finlay said in a recent opinion piece:

The first issue is the overly broad and vague way key terms – such as misinformation, disinformation and harm – are defined. Laws targeting misinformation and disinformation require clear and precise definitions. Drawing a clear line between truth and falsehood is not always simple, and there may be legitimate differences in opinion as to how content should be characterised. The broad definitions used here risk enabling unpopular or controversial opinions or beliefs to be subjectively labelled as misinformation or disinformation, and censored as a result.


The second key problem is the low harm threshold established by the proposed law. Content that is “reasonably likely to cause or contribute to serious harm” risks being labelled as misinformation or disinformation. The categories of harm are themselves extremely broad, including things like “harm to the health of Australians” and “harm to the Australian environment”. Reasonable people may have very different views about what constitutes harm under these categories. The definitions also provide no guidance about how harm is meant to be judged….


The third concern highlighted by the commission is the way the proposed law defines excluded content, which is content that is protected from being labelled as misinformation or disinformation. One key example here is that the draft bill defines any content that is authorised by the government as being excluded content. This means government information cannot, by definition, be misinformation or disinformation under the law.


This fails to acknowledge the reality that misinformation and disinformation can come from government. Indeed, government misinformation and disinformation raises particular concerns given the enhanced legitimacy and authority that many people attach to information received from official government sources.

There are numerous others warning about just how bad – and dangerous – this legislation will be. It must be rejected. I close with some wise words from the American writer and activist Naomi Wolf who recently put it this way:

“There is no such thing as ‘disinformation’ or ‘misinformation.’ There is only information you accept and information you do not accept. You were not born with a requirement to believe everything you are told; rather, you were born with a brain that allows you to process the information you receive and make independent decisions.”

[1245 words]

5 Replies to “Say NO to Dangerous ‘Misinformation’ Legislation”

  1. Your warnings about this proposed Law is most definitely of grave concern. With this gaining ground we are definitely heading for circumstances not dissimilar from Nazi Germany, and current Governments that impose restrictions on free speech.

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