The case’s end result was not unheard-of in a rustic with notoriously strict defamation legal guidelines, nevertheless it was uncommon that the defendant was not one other politician or a high-profile journalist, stated Michael Douglas, a senior lecturer in non-public legislation on the College of Western Australia.

“It’s in keeping with the theme that this authorities is content material in taking a really heavy-handed method to on-line speech that it doesn’t like,” he stated. He added, “Circumstances like these are a warning that, until one thing modifications, we’re going to see increasingly circumstances like this, and each Australian ought to tread rigorously earlier than they do a quote retweet and name a politician a reputation.”

Mr. Dutton has been open about his intent to crack down on deceptive or defamatory social media content material. In March, he informed a neighborhood radio station, “A few of these people who find themselves trending on Twitter or have the anonymity of various Twitter accounts, they’re on the market placing out all these statements and tweets which might be frankly defamatory — I’m going to start out to pick a few of them to sue.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison echoed that sentiment in October, when he vowed that the federal government would do extra to carry social media giants accountable.

“Social media has develop into a coward’s palace, the place folks can simply go on there, not say who they’re, destroy folks’s lives and say probably the most foul and offensive issues to folks and accomplish that with impunity,” Mr. Morrison stated.

In Could, John Barilaro, then the deputy premier of New South Wales, sued an Australian YouTuber, Jordan Shanks, for defamation, claiming that two movies Mr. Shanks had uploaded incorrectly steered he was corrupt, had dedicated perjury and engaged in blackmail. He additionally stated Mr. Shanks had been racist by attacking his Italian heritage, together with calling him a “con man to the core, powered by spaghetti.”

Mr. Shanks’s channel, FriendlyJordies, which has 600,000 subscribers, is understood for its comedy and political commentary.

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