In the article A new media regulator: Safe haven or Big Brother? Professor Janet Wilson says the Safer Online Services and Media Platforms discussion document by the Department of Internal Affair’s Content Regulatory Review proposes a powerful new regulator. Wilson notes that it is one without political accountability, which decides what is ‘safe’, even if it’s still legal, over what traditional mainstream media and social media produces (as well as film and gaming).
It has been constructed with the terms ‘safe spaces’ and ‘harm minimisation’ throughout the media she argues, which calls into question who gets to decide what’s safe and what is harm.
Wilson notes the regulator can’t change what is or isn’t legal online, but it can insist that content be removed because it’s ‘unsafe’ or that it ‘harms’ someone.
There’s no denying that online content causes the proliferation of harmful hate. But rather than suppressing such speech, the answer lies in more speech – the cleansing disinfectant of counter-speech.
Read A new media regulator: Safe haven or Big Brother? at the common room.