The Lawfare Podcast


Defamation Down Under

Just two days ago, on September 28, CNN announced that it was turning off access to its Facebook pages in Australia. Why would the network cut off Facebook users Down Under?

It’s not a protest of Facebook or… Australians. CNN’s move was prompted by a recent ruling by the High Court of Australia in Fairfax Media and Voller, which held that media companies can be held liable for defamatory statements made by third parties in the comments on their public pages, even if they didn’t know about them. This is a pretty extraordinary expansion of potential liability for organizations that run public pages with a lot of engagement. 

On this week’s episode of Arbiters of Truth, our series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with David Rolph, a professor at the University of Sydney Law School and an expert on media law, to understand the ruling and its potential impact. What exactly does Voller mean for media companies with some kind of connection to Australia? What does it mean for you, if someone writes a nasty comment under your Facebook post or your tweet? Why did the court rule the way it did? And why is Australia known as the defamation capital of the world? 

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Rational Security: The "Nothing To Be Thankful For" Edition

For Thanksgiving, we’re bringing you something a little different—an episode of Rational Security, our light, conversational show about national security and related topics. This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by special guest,Quinta's co-host of the Arbiters of Truth series on theLawfarepodcast feedEvelyn Douek! They sat down to discuss:—“Getting Rittenhoused”: A jury recently acquitted 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of murder charges for shooting two men in what he claimed was self-defense during last summer’s unrest. What does his trial and its aftermath tell us about the intersection of politics with our criminal justice system?— “Now That’s a Power Serve”: A global pressure campaign by professional tennis players has forced Chinese officials to disclose the location of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who disappeared after publicly accusing a former senior official of sexual assault. Is this a new model for dealing with Chinese human rights abuses?— “Duck Say Quack and Fish Go Blub—But What Did Fox Say?”: Two prominent conservative commentators have resigned from Fox News over its release of a Tucker Carlson film that they say spreads misinformation and promotes violence. Will this be enough to force the network to curb its behavior?For object lessons, Quinta endorsed her favoritepie dough recipe. Alan in turn made an unorthodox recommendation of what to put in that dough:sweet potato pie. Scott encouraged listeners to follow up that big meal with a cup of coffee, made on his belovedAeropresswith aPrismo filter attachment. And if that doesn't work, Evelyn suggested folks tuck in for a nap with her favorite weighted blanket fromBearaby.Be sure to visit our show page atwww.lawfareblog.comand to follow us on Twitter at@RatlSecurity.And Rational Security listeners can now get a committed ad-free feed by becoming a Lawfare material supporter!