This interim report outlines the nature of foreign interference through social media and the challenges presented to Australia’s democracy. In doing so, the report focuses on Facebook, Twitter, Google, TikTok and WeChat as these social media platforms have significant reach globally and within Australia.
While foreign interference through social media is a global issue and international examples are referred to in this report, the committee's terms of reference necessitate a focus on the domestic context in Australia. Accordingly, the report considers the issue of foreign interference through social media in the context of the upcoming Federal Election and Australia’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also considers the arrangements that the Australian Government has established to identify and respond to instances of foreign interference through social media in Australia.
- Chapter 1 contains the committee's view and associated recommendations;
- Chapter 2 summarises the context and administrative details of the inquiry, as well as previous domestic reports into the issue of foreign interference through social media in Australia;
- Chapter 3 outlines the mechanisms that are currently being used to combat foreign interference in Australia;
- Chapter 4 explores the key issues raised by submitters and witnesses regarding foreign interference through social media in Australia; and
- Chapter 5 examines the current arrangements the Australian Government has in place to respond to foreign interference through social media.