New Social Media Defamation Training By ACM An Industry First

New Social Media Defamation Training By ACM An Industry First
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Australian Community Managers (ACM) has created new on-demand training to help people who build, manage and moderate online groups to protect themselves, their users and their organisations from defamation.

The ACM Defamation Training, accessible to anyone, is a national first in addressing the rising threat of defamation in social media settings for those on the front lines of these communities, groups and audiences.

Australia has been called the defamation capital of the world, and more than 50 per cent of cases happen in digital and social media settings. The Voller versus Nationwide ruling of 2019 (upheld on appeal in 2020), established that Australian organisations are legally liable for user generated content on their social media pages and groups.

Yet many are still unsure how to manage these risks, especially non-professionals, such as administrators of neighbourhood Facebook groups. In 2020 a woman was ordered to pay $35,000 in relation to defamation in her Rose Bay Facebook group, and similar cases are on the rise.

“We need to help the Australians building and supporting online communities to work safely,” said ACM director and trainer Venessa Paech, who has helped companies, not-for-profits, start-ups and government organisations around Australia develop practical governance plans for their online communities.

“Community building is already hard, often thankless work. We don’t want people facing court appearances or fines for issues that are avoidable and manageable. As the home for professional community managers in Australia, we’re committed to sharing our knowledge and helping all Australians build safe, thriving communities for their businesses, organisations, causes and networks.”

“The incoming Online Safety Act will make it even more important that those manning the front lines of social media are empowered and supported to protect themselves and their users.”

The new ACM training does not require legal or professional community management expertise, and will give both professionals and non-professionals additional peace of mind.

The training, co-created by ACM and legal experts, consists of 5 modules, covering:

  • what is defamation (including who and what can be defamed and the reasons people might allege defamation);
  • the specific risks of defamation for online communities and social media groups;
  • the consequences of, and defences for alleged defamation;
  • how to minimise the risk of defamation in online environments before it happens;
  • how to identity moderate content that may be defamatory;
  • and more.

The training is unique in its targeting of online community practitioners, supporting them in the realities of managing different community management scenarios involving defamation and negotiating the boundaries between free speech, criticism and defamation within their digital social settings.

The ACM Defamation Training offers a certification that can give employers, clients and individuals extra assurance that they have an understanding of the issues and tools to help them reduce risk in their respective online environments.

The training is available at:

It is priced at $299 for individuals, with options for organisations to licence, student and NFP discounts.

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