Australia's legislation was brought in response to the Christchurch attacks, which streamed live on Facebook. Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images

Social media executives could face imprisonment or billions of dollars in fines for broadcasting violent content in Australia under new legislation passed Thursday in response to live footage broadcast of New Zealand's mosque attacks.

Details: The Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material bill passed with 2 days of parliament left ahead of a federal election. The streaming of violent acts, including murder and rape, must be removed from platforms within a "reasonable time" or penalties apply. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos of the March 15 Christchurch attacks in 24 hours.

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Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

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Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.