Australian Christians Warned Censorship Coming With New Disinformation Bill

News Image By Bob Unruh - WND News Center August 01, 2023
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Australia has joined the list of nations around the globe where people soon will be banned from expressing their opinions on a long list of issue - all coming under the mantle of "misinformation" and "disinformation."

The plan would, for example, ban criticism of the LGBT ideology, including transgender procedures that mutilate a child's body.

Also, any elections officials would have new protections against complaints or criticisms.

Decision Magazine explains comments are being taken until Aug. 20 on the "Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation" plan, Bill 2023.

"'Presented as a measure to protect Australians from false, misleading or deceptive information, or from information intended to cause serious harm, the bill actually is 'a dangerous attempt to gain control and limit our freedom,' according to Michelle Pearse, CEO of the Australian Christian Lobby." the report explained.

The measure is "especially dangerous for Christians who want to express an alternate view to woke culture on gender and sexuality and for those who want to speak out against abortion," she said.
"The bill is based on providing the media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, with the power to strictly regulate what they interpret as harmful information and expression on online platforms like social media," Pearse told Decision. 

"Now, it goes without saying that as Christians, we don't hate those with alternate views. But we believe that disagreeing and loving can coexist. In fact, at times it's loving to disagree.

"However, as we've seen time and time again, there are strong elements of our culture who label our disagreement or us pointing out the issues we have with gender theory or abortion as 'hate' or 'harmful.'"

The plan is for the government to define what it refuses to tolerate, and it could order digital platforms to keep records of offenses.

If they don't respond as the government wants, they could be fined.

"So out of fear of penalty, digital platforms will play it safe. You will be censored. ... This is not democracy," Pearse said.

The government claims "misinformation" is content that is false, misleading or deceptive, that is shared or created without an intent to deceive but can cause and contribute to serious harm."

It doesn't address the fact that the idea of "misleading" or "deceptive" is entirely subjective.

It calls "disinformation" "misinformation that is intentionally disseminated with the intent to deceive or cause serious harm."

It requires platforms to "have robust systems and measures" to address what the government dislikes, and banned would be comments that "undermine the impartiality of an Australian electoral management body ahead of an election or a referendum."

Fines are specified to range up to $6.8 million.

Oddly, the bill claims it would have "no role in determining truthfulness."

Originally published at WND News Center - reposted with permission.

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