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No more ‘anonymous’ trolls in Australia

The legislation will be released in draft form this week, and is expected to be introduced in Parliament early next year…reports Asian Lite News

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is all set to introduce a new anti-troll Bill that would force online social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reveal the identities of anonymous users, in an effort to crack down on online trolling.

According to ABC News Australia, the new laws would require social media companies to collect the details of all users, and allow courts to force the social media firms to hand over the identities of users to aid defamation cases.

“Companies would be required to create a complaints process for people who feel they have been defamed online. The laws would allow courts to force companies to handover the identities of users if people wanted to pursue legal action,” the report said on Sunday.

The legislation will be released in draft form this week, and is expected to be introduced in Parliament early next year.

“The rules that exist in the real world must exist in the digital and online world. The online world shouldn’t be a wild west, where bots and bigots and trolls and others can anonymously go around and harm people and hurt people,” Morrison was quoted as saying in the report.

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Under the new law, if the user is unwilling to take down the content, or the complainant wants to take further action, the company asks a user for their consent to release their personal details.

“If the user does not consent to their details being released, a court order can be made requiring the company to release them — allowing the complainant to pursue defamation action,” the report noted.

“We will be looking for test cases that can reinforce these laws. So if the digital companies or others think they’re only just going to have to be dealing with perhaps someone of little means seeking to pursue this, then we will look for those cases,” said Morrison.

“We will back them in the courts and we will take them on.”

Both Twitter and Facebook were yet to comment on the draft laws.

The proposed legislation is part of a larger effort to overhaul Australia’s defamation laws.

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Arts & Culture Books Lite Blogs

Chetan: Anybody who is relevant gets trolled…Come on…

‘400 Days’ is the third book from the Keshav-Saurabh series and revolves the story of a missing girl ‘Siya’ and her mother’s determination to bring back her daughter even when everyone in the family has given up…Chetan Bhagat speaks with Sukant Deepak.

When you talk to him about the trolling he is subjected to on social media, he smiles that it has stopped bothering him now.

“Anybody who is relevant gets trolled. Come on, people do not spare the Prime Minister even. What can you do? You need to be someone to get trolled. But honestly, if you ask me, I feel pretty sad for those who spend all their time and energy on trolling. Worst part being, they are so predictable that it is not even funny anymore. I really have sympathy for them, all they are doing is giving celebrities great engagement,” he tells.

Bestselling author Chetan Bhagat, whose latest book ‘400 Days’ (Westland Publications) recently hit the stands is certain that this is best work ever. For someone who has written around nine novels and three non-fiction titles, many of which have been made into Hindi films, the lockdowns provided an opportunity to focus like never before.

“In the pre-Covid era, besides writing, there were a host of activities that I would regularly undertake — events, motivational talks and travelling extensively.

There were times when I would be on the road, and then in the middle, would come back to finish a chapter of a new book. In short, a lot of distractions. However, the lockdowns forced me to be at home. There was nothing else I could do apart from writing,” Bhagat says.

‘400 Days’ is the third book from the Keshav-Saurabh series and revolves the story of a missing girl ‘Siya’ and her mother’s determination to bring back her daughter even when everyone in the family has given up.

The author says that during his travels and motivational talks, he gets a pulse of modern India and what the young are looking for, something that helps him make better stories which are relatable. “Right from my first book in 2004, I have been picking up contemporary issues facing the country.”

Adding while a story should have multiple ingredients to ensure that it is unputdownable, the author says that his books always have a “certain message”. “That, plus an entertaining story — be it about romance, friendship or mystery. Even though the package is entertaining, there is a certain message in every book I write.Well, this is the tenth one, so I guess the combination has worked.

Talking about his motivational talks which he gives across the country, and now also on his YouTube channel, the author recalls that during book launches and other events, people would often ask him questions related to living a fruitful life etc. “And slowly, I became a motivational speaker. And it kind of helped me learn about India, as I would travel across the country for them. These talks have become an indispensable part of me now.”

While multiple ideas with potential for a book may keep striking him, Bhagat says that many dissolve after a few days but there are some that keep coming back. “It is like — okay, this one has potential. Let me carry this for one more week in my mind and see if it can grow further, just like a little plant if it grows more trees. It is also about what will challenge me? Murder mysteries are hard to write — how do you get the perfect suspense, trust etc. It is difficult. Thus, it was interesting to dive into them — I wrote two. And then I asked myself — what is the next level of challenge? And then I thought, okay, a missing child’s story. Can it be made interesting, fun, thrilling… Everything?” says the author who prefers to work on one book at a time.

Fondly recalling his experience in the Hindi film industry, Bhagat on whose books films like ‘2 States’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Half Girlfriend’ and several others have been made, asserts the author says that he has always had the clarity that he wanted to reach as many people as possible, and what could be a better medium than films? “I would love to do more work there but Covid has kind of slowed down things, and there is a huge backlog in the industry.”

Post writing two books back to back, he now wants to pause and start travelling again. “I have been missing going to different parts of the country. One does not really have to work so much all the time. It is ok,” he concludes.

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Bollywood Lite Blogs

Trolls have no place in Sonakshi’s life

She adds that trolls are only people who hide behind their phones and spread negativity. They have no place in her life…writes Anjuri Nayar Singh.

Actress Sonakshi Sinha says that she doesn’t pay much heed to trolls. The actress adds that there was a point when what they said would really bother her, but it does not anymore.

“There used to be a time where I used to get really bothered by what is being said about me on social media by trolls and would react as well. But now I have reached a point where it doesn’t affect me at all and I have learned to move on,” she told.

She adds that trolls are only people who hide behind their phones and spread negativity. They have no place in her life.

“These guys sitting behind their phones and constantly spewing negativity aren’t important to me. My fans have been extremely supportive and that’s what matters. I have always been myself on social media and I will continue to keep it ‘asli’,” she says.

Meanwhile, Bollywood had a tough time last year due to the pandemic. Theatres were closed down and film shoots were halted. Sonakshi says that because of this situation OTT has grown, but a theatrical experience will always be special for her.

“Lockdown brought a lot of movies closer to viewers because of their digital releases, which has been great, and OTT viewership is definitely huge right now. But watching a movie on the big screen has a different charm altogether,” she says.

Now that work has resumed, Sonakshi says that it is important to be as careful as possible on the film set.

“It’s different but I guess everyone adapts when required. It’s your responsibility to be more cautious and to take all necessary precautions, especially when you’re working with so many people. Each person has to be responsible for the sake of the entire unit, and their family,” she says.

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Meanwhile, the actress has a slew of projects planned and is looking forward to taking on meaningful work.

“I want to continue doing great work that makes me happy. It could be on OTT or theatrical, the content matters for me. Currently, I am finishing my show for Amazon Prime produced by Excel and Tiger Baby. I also have ‘Bhuj: The Pride Of India’, which is up for release. A couple of other projects are being discussed. So, there is a lot of exciting stuff coming up!” she says.

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