News National Poll: Overwhelming majority of Australians want policing of social media

Poll: Overwhelming majority of Australians want policing of social media

Australians are sick and tired of social media's anything-goes wild frontier. Photo: AAP
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Almost three quarters of Australians want tighter controls surrounding political advertising on social media platforms as a new report found current regulation is “grossly inadequate”.

A survey by Essential Research found 73 per cent of respondents support requiring social media platforms to ensure political ads are factual, while 70 per cent believe platforms should be required to confirm the organisations advertising are registered locally.

The figures were released as part of a report by the Australia Institute on the impact of social media on the 2019 election.

It found misinformation on social media was rife and the absence of blackouts increased its influence in the final days of the campaign.

The report by the institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology found the regulation over social media during elections is grossly inadequate.

Centre director Peter Lewis said the report, backed by public research, suggest the time has come to regulate social media during elections.

“This report shows that election regulations have not kept pace with technological change and the big social media platforms are currently operating as a law unto themselves,” Mr Lewis said.

“The experience across western democracy is that the way these online platforms are operating is driving division, amplifying discord and abrogating any responsibility to ensure political advertisements are true.”