This is the sixteenth instalment in a regular series from Inforrm highlighting press and case reports of new media and information cases from around the world. It is intended to complement our United States: Monthly Round Up posts. Please let us know if there are other cases and jurisdictions which we should be covering.
In the Media
Facebook has amended its marketing and social media policies to ensure ads targeting children are policed more strictly. Accounts aged under 16 and 18 in some countries will be defaulted to private but children will still have the option to create a public account if they so wish. The Guardian and NYTimes have commentary. Reset Australia reported in April that that T&C’s were unnecessarily complex and did not appear accessible to 13-17 year olds.
News Corp Australia’s Alan Jones recent moves has drawn the comment from the Guardian [£] with the newspaper being drawn comments from the reaction to the decision to no longer publish Jones’ column in the Daily Telegraph.
News Corp has announced the launch of a new digital news academy in partnership with Google Australia.
The ABC defamation case brought by Christian Porter two media companies have lost their bid to had 27 redacted pages of material, the defence tabled by ABC, to be made public. Nine and News Limited sought access to the document following the settlement of the case in May.
Cricket Australia has hired international sports marketing agency Octagon exclusively to assist with its media rights sales in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
PwC Australia has released its 20th Annual Australian Environment and Entertainment 2021-25. Spending has contracted by 8% to $15.4billion. For the highlights, please see this piece in AdNews.
INFORRM had a post on recent updates to defamation law the policing of satire.
CBC, CTV and Global have filed an application in the B.C.’s Court of Appeal seeking to overturn a decision to keep private so called alternative measures that resulted in the dismissal of a sexual assault charge against the Mayor of Port Moody B.C. Media Lawyer Daniel Burnett argues that the court failed to consider the open court principle.
Social media companies may soon have enhanced responsibility for harmful content, with new laws seeking to impose an obligation remove content within 24 hours of being flagged. The measures will be introduced under the new Bill C-36 which has been analysed by iPolitics.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has commented on the need to more strictly regulate social media after the discovery of Facebook groups posting sexist, racist and homophobic content. The Guardian [£] reports.
July 26 2021 was Canadian Children’s Media Day. Nelvana partnered with Telefilm Canada and the Youth Media Alliance. Psychology Today has considered the benefits of slow-paced media for children.
Jamie Cudmore has been sacked by Rugby Canada following a series of deleted tweets criticising the Canadian Women’s Seven’s Team who were competing at the Tokyo Olympics. Pundit Arena and The Globe and Mail also have commentary.
Councillor Buck Buchanan has been sanctioned following a social media post being critical of Mayoral Candidate Glen Carritt.
Reddit has initiated its first media campaign with a digital first approach looking to drive user awareness.
The European Parliament has adopted a new resolution on Hong Kong advocating tougher measures be taken in response to the government’s crackdown on city press freedom. See the Parliament’s press release relating to the Apple Daily, following 500 armed police raiding its offices here. President Joe Biden commented that the Apple Daily’s demise was ”a sad day for media freedom”.
Hong Kong’s proposed anti-doxxing Bill has been criticised for being overly broad. The FT has explored the consequences of the Bill that targets the posting of personal information online, warning that it is too restrictive on tech platforms and their employees, leaving them vulnerable to unfair prosecution. [£] VOA China also has commentary.
The Economist [£] has considered crackdowns on the academic populus of Hong Kong. State Media has criticised the Professional Teachers Union leading to statements from the Education Bureau announcing it would stop working with the pro-democracy group.
India’s new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 have been critiqued by Rappler. In particular there is a focus on the new grievance redressal mechanism; a publication must acknowledge a complaint within 24 hours and respond to a complaint within 15 days. See the text of the Bill in Hindi here and commentary from PRS Legislative. Whatsapp has argued the traceability rules undermine its end to end encryption.
UNESCO has launched a publication of Sexual Violence and the News Media– focusing on issues, challenges and guidelines for journalists in India. See commentary from the India Education Diary.
Brookings has considered the role of Indian media in the COVID-19 pandemic concluding that inadequate media coverage may have slowed India’s covid response.
India’s media and entertainment industry is to hit Rs4trn by 2025, says the Business Standard.
The New Zealand Ministry of Justice has made proposals [pdf] against incitement of hatred and discrimination. These raise topical issues on the regulation of hate speech.
Media researcher and consultant Gavin Ellis has posted his submission on proposals against the incitement of hatred and discrimination in Aoteroa New Zealand. Ellis also reviewed new media protocols for dealing with acts of terrorism in New Zealand.
Pakistani authorities sent a record of 417 content removal requests to Twitter in the second half of 2020, The Diplomat analyses.
Global Village Space has considered the relationship between the Pakistan Bar Council and the media arguing that the political nexus between the two has bought Pakistan’s judicial system to the verge of dysfunctionality.
Russia’s amendment to the law of what constitutes foreign agents has been critiqued as targeting journalists, activists and even ordinary citizen’s. NPR reports on the Russian Government’s use of the new, broader definition, which it has defended stating it is not being used for censorship.
Team 29, a rights group in Russia constituting lawyers and journalists specialising in freedom of information issues, is the latest group to announce it is shutting down after Russian authorities blocked its website for allegedly publishing content from an “undesirable” organisation. The Guardian reports [£].
In the Courts
Massoud v Ors  NSWDC 336, District Court of New South Wales, the plaintiff was suspended and dismissed from his employment as a journalist for telling an 18 year old cadet that if he weren’t so young, the plaintiff would “rip his head off and shit down his throat.” The plaintiff brought proceedings against five media organisations for misquoting what he said in otherwise factually correct reports. It was held that defences of justification and contextual truth applied. Judgement was handed down for the defendants.
Tucker v McKee  FCA 828, a case concerning the jurisdiction of the Court in federal proceedings for defamation whether the storage of an email on a cloud or server was sufficient to constitute publication; the email containing defamatory imputations was not downloaded or read anywhere other than in the State of Victoria. “It is not the storage but the downloading of the document which constitutes publication, and it is the publication of the document which creates the substantive right to bring a claim and is relevant for present purposes”.
Wraydeh v Fairfax  NSWCA 153 the publication by the police of three media releases resulting in Fairfax Media and Nationwide News publishing various articles about a road traffic accident involving the appellant. The appellant commenced proceedings against the respondent news outlets. It was upheld that the defences of qualified privilege were applicable under common law. The damages award of $7,500 was also upheld.
Dean v Puleio  VCC 848– Statements in the form of a four google reviews of a dentist was found to be defamatory. The grapevine effect was applied here, finding that the likely impact of the publications would have spread beyond those who saw the actual page.
Nguyen -v- Hinsley  WASC 220– An application to strike out certain paragraphs of a defamation claim that was largely successful.
In the case of Peters v Attorney-General sued on behalf of Ministry of Social Development  NZCA 355 the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against a decision rejecting his privacy claims.
This Round up was complied by Suneet Sharma a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media, information and privacy law.