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Social media in spotlight after Meagher murder

Last updated 13:27 05/10/2012
Jill Meagher
Jill Meagher went missing when walking home from drinks with workmates.

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Australia

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Attorneys-general are meeting in Brisbane to discuss concerns about social media sites in the wake of Jill Meagher's death.

The death of the Melbourne woman has brought into sharp focus the issue of social media's potential influence on criminal trials.

Following the arrest of a man for Meagher's alleged rape and murder, hate pages sprang up on Facebook.

The social networking site eventually removed them after police raised concerns that online comments could prejudice the trial.

Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is meeting with her state and territory counterparts today to discuss possible ways to regulate social media.

Ahead of the meeting, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith said people should be able to sue Facebook over defamatory posts.

Smith, who has taken legal action against Sydney radio station 2GB over comments made by top-rating broadcaster Ray Hadley, says similar defamation laws should apply to Facebook.

"People should be able to sue if something defamatory is on Facebook," he told reporters.

"The problem is Facebook is based in America, as far as I'm aware it has no offices here so it would be a very expensive and difficult thing to do.

"We'd like to see Facebook take responsibility for what's published in Australia and other countries by registering an office here."

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- AAP

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