Trump says ‘no deal’ to Morrison’s pact

 

US President Donald Trump has refused to sign a G7 pact against online hate speech citing legal reason, as Australia pushed for stronger action against violent material posted online.

As global leaders jetted out of the seaside town of Biarritz, the French Government confirmed the US did not sign up to a charter for an open, free and safe internet which was agreed to by the majority of G7 countries.

"We formalised an agreement for the first time with several Anglo-Saxon and European platforms and with support from nearly all (G7) countries," French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters.

"We had a very good discussion with the United States, which for legal reasons was not able to formalise the agreement on this point," Mr Macron said, adding he was hopeful it could be done in the coming weeks.

Australia attended the two-day leaders' meeting as an observer - not as one of the seven industrialised economies that make up the G7 - but was invited to take part in a session on social media safety.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks to media at the G7 Summit. Picture: AAP
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks to media at the G7 Summit. Picture: AAP

After the session, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the US President had been "very supportive" of Australia's initiatives to crackdown on violent material posted online.

"There is very strong support," Mr Morrison said.

"Rules in the digital world have to be the same as the rules in the physical world.

"You don't go and let a company put a dodgy toy on the shelf and let them buy it, swallow it and then choke to death ... you have proper laws that protect people from those sorts of things.

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Mr Morrison. Picture: AAP
Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Mr Morrison. Picture: AAP

"Digital companies are no different, they have to take responsibility for what they produce ... and making sure they don't harm people."

President Trump's refusal to sign the pact comes one day after Australia revealed it had secured a new deal with New Zealand and the OECD to force social media platforms to reveal how many times violent material was uploaded to their sites and how long it stayed online.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One after the G7 Summit. Picture: AP
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One after the G7 Summit. Picture: AP