Top Yes Campaigner Floats Crackdown on Social Media
By Daily Mail News
Top Yes campaigner floats crackdown on social media
Thomas Mayo slammed No campaign
Yes advocate says regulating social media ‘needs to be looked at’
Indigenous Voice to Parliament Yes campaigner Thomas Mayo says Australia ‘needs to look at’ cracking down on social media platforms.
During an ABC Radio interview, Mr Mayo criticised the way the No campaign used digital platforms to connect with voters.
All six states voted the proposal down. Nationally, only 39.6 per cent of the population voted Yes, with 60.4 per cent – close to nine million voters – opposed.
‘It was difficult because we were running an honest campaign… whereas the No campaign could talk about anything, and they did,’ he claimed.
‘They had fearmongering… I think the media really struggled and failed somewhat to expose all of that in a way that got through to Australians.’
Mr Mayo said: ‘There’s bigger issues to that. How do you regulate social media?
‘I think that’s something that needs to be looked at in the future.’
The Federal government has vowed to crack down on misinformation and disinformation through the new misinformation bill.
The proposed bill would give the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) stronger powers to deal with ‘content that is false, misleading or deceptive’.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland described these new powers, which would include information gathering and record keeping abilities, as a means to ‘create transparency around efforts by digital platforms to respond to misinformation and disinformation’.
Prior to Mr Mayo’s comments appearing to advocate in favour of the principals of the bill, the official No campaign revealed it had now set its sights on defeating the proposal.
Advance’s executive director Matthew Sheahan warned the Yes campaigners would pivot to the misinformation bill.
‘Australia handed them a flogging that will sting for decades, believe me,’ he said.
Mr Sheahan warned the Yes camp is ‘regrouping’.
‘Why do you think they’re already talking about new laws to make ‘misinformation’ a crime?’
Mr Sheahan called out the Labor party, the Greens and the Teal independents for ‘lining up… to call for new laws that will criminalise and police what you say’.
‘They think the only way they can win is if they silence their opponents. But you and I are already ahead of the game.
‘ADVANCE is campaigning right now on this next front. Every time they squeal ‘misinformation, disinformation’, they are really saying, ‘you are too stupid to make up your own mind’.
‘They think that if you oppose their radical vision of Australia, you’re ‘a dinosaur or a d**khead’, as Ray Martin put it.
Mr Mayo said he is ‘no expert on’ the topic, but was certain misinformation ‘really damaged this campaign’.
Australia’s failure to enshrine an Indigenous Voice in its founding document is an ’embarrassing’ moment and should push the country to deal with entrenched disadvantaged facing First Nations people, he also said.
Mr Mayo said the overwhelmingly rejected Voice referendum on October 14 was a painful event for many Indigenous Australians.
‘I think it’s embarrassing. It’s hard for Australia to talk about human rights to other countries like China when we still have such a marginalised people,’ Mr Mayo said on Tuesday.
‘We are one of the only ones who don’t have a treaty with Indigenous people, so it will be very difficult now as far as international relations.’
Mr Mayo’s comments come after Indigenous leaders and organisations broke their week-long silence to grieve the No result on Monday in an open letter that condemned ‘a shameful act unknowingly committed by the majority of Australians’.