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8 June 2022

Former NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has been awarded a $715,000 payout from Google in a court decision that has wider implications for social media and tech platforms operating in Australia.

In a shock decision handed down by the Federal Court of Australia on Monday 6 June, tech giant Google was found to have failed to adhere to its own policies reported The Guardian.

The lawsuit accused Google of failing to remove a series of videos created by comedian Friendlyjordies (Jordan Shanks). The now-retired Barilaro deemed these videos to be “vulgar” and “offensive” reported Sky News.

Federal Court of Australia Justice Stephen Rares ruled that Shanks ran a “relentless cyberbullying” campaign which caused Barilaro “to leave public office prematurely,” reported the Guardian.

In late 2021 the High Court of Australia set the stage for a series of similar findings, ruling that publishers can be liable for defamatory comments. The court findings set an alarming precedent and received immediate, widespread criticism, reported CNBC.com.

On Tuesday 7 June, the Federal Court also ruled that Twitter must reveal the user credentials behind Twitter account @PRGuy17, an account renowned for vociferously supporting Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews as well as attacking his critics.

The court proceedings were lodged by Rebel News journalist Avi Yemini. Yemeni argued that the account made “defamatory attacks” against him reported Sky News.

Twitter has been given 2 weeks to release the user credential by the Federal Court Sky News reported.

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Drew Roller is a Filmmaker, Musician and stay at home dad. He enjoys films about sword swinging immortals, 90s games about British spies and long conversations online that push at the boundaries of polite conversation.

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