Inner East Review
Tuesday, 5 December 2023

From the editor

May 3 2022 - 5:00am
From the editor
From the editor

We live in such a democracy that, at times, we believe there is no need to do anything to protect freedom of speech.

Many believe it is a right, but it is not. It is not in the Constitution, although the High Court has ruled that an implied freedom of political communication exists as part of the electoral system. Or you may believe governments will act to protect that expression.

If so you would be wrong.

Despite having touched on this subject before, I feel compelled to do so again, now that the federal government is considering legislation that will gag our right to put a point of view on social media, although that is not the intent.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher wants to hold big tech companies to account to prevent harmful content appearing on their platforms, however there are laws in place that already do this.

The government broadly defines harmful content as views that pose an imminent or serious threat to "democratic political and decision making processes" as well as "the protection of citizen's health", public safety and security, among other things.

In effect, it would give a government the right to censor views that do not fit its narrative, robbing people of even the implied right to political discourse. This needs a total rethink.


Ian Moore