Subscribe for premier reporting on free speech, privacy, Big Tech, media gatekeepers, and individual liberty online.

Australian Censor’s New Threat: Booting X and Reddit from App Stores

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant‘s newest mission is to get certain apps removed from two major global app stores.

Grant, sometimes referred to by opponents as the country’s “censor-in-chief,” would like Google and Apple to get rid of X and Reddit.

The reason for once again going after X (and in this instance, Reddit) is explained by these social platforms hosting adult content. And who knew, Apple and Google are profit-driven – but Grant seems to be just discovering that and is now engaging in some pearl-clutching.

Revenues, the “censorship tsar” said, is what prevents the two tech giants from deleting the two apps, despite them, according to Grant’s interpretations, violating their own policies.

It wasn’t long before the topic of age verification and digital ID (“age assurance”) cropped up.

The commissioner was addressing Australia’s Senate when she said that France trialing this tech, targeting actual pornography sites, has seen users migrating to social platforms to gain access to this type of content.

There are valuable conclusions to be drawn from this example, but the only one Grant managed was that apps should be banned for third-party content, while Bridget Gannon, a government official from the Communications Department, suggested that age verification rules will be imposed on social media as well as adult sites.

“More consultation” on this matter will follow, said Gannon, but this seems to refer only to what the cut-off age should be, rather than whether or not social media should implement age limits (according to her, there’s “wide agreement” that this should happen.)

However, the true problem with age verification is not the willingness or lack thereof on the part of sites/apps to implement it, but the implication it has on the privacy and security of all internet users, due to the nature of the methods available so far to determine somebody’s age – namely, providing some form of government-issued ID.

Yet Gannon suggested that Australian authorities are hoping to somehow magically tackle this issue as well, while they trial various technologies.

And it remains to be decided how the chosen method will be implemented – “at the internet service provider level or the social media companies, or other type of services.”

“We will be working closely with industry as a whole but they won’t be undertaking the trial – we will be,” this government official said.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Read more

Join the pushback against online censorship, cancel culture, and surveillance.

Already a member? Login.