We may see the end of ‘trolling’ comments on social media feeds of mainstream media companies after the Supreme Court of NSW recently held they could be liable for the defamatory comments made on their Facebook pages.
Bicycle NSW has a set of behavior standards for each of its social media platforms. These are designed to balance the need to engage and educate with concerns about comments that are aggressive, profane, defamatory or factually wrong.
Our team works hard to moderate these feeds. From time to time we have also provided moderating comments on the social media feeds of other sites, especially when incorrect information is being circulated about the road rules applicable to bike riding.
We have regularly seen aggressive, incorrect and profane comments left on the social media feeds of media organisations. We highlighted in a recent article the demonisation of a person riding a bike in a 7 News article. The rider was criticised for ‘disrupting the roads’ by Dylan Yasar for not riding in the bike lane, when he was actually waiting at the lights in a turning lane.
“People who ride bikes and their families are tired of media outlets that produce content, or allow comments, that incite aggression on the roads or are incorrect about the laws that apply to bike riding,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“We hope this judgement will encourage a more responsible approach to stories related to bike riding and road safety,” said Bastien.
Bicycle NSW also engages regularly with NSW Police and NSW Road Safety on matters related to social media, its moderation and opportunities to educate on road safety issues.