Sun. May 19th, 2024

Anthony Albanese criticises ‘arrogant’ Elon Musk’s response to Australia’s X takedown order

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May12,2024
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has branded Elon Musk “arrogant” after the billionaire appeared to thumb his nose at new court action taken by Australia’s eSafety Commissioner.
His social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, was to block all users from violent footage related to an in a western Sydney church on 15 April.

But Musk and his company have raised free speech and jurisdictional concerns over the orders made by the Federal Court.

“We’ll do what’s necessary to take on this arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency,” Albanese told ABC television on Tuesday.
“What the eSafety Commissioner is doing is doing her job to protect the interests of Australians.
“The idea that someone would go to court for the right to put up violent content on a platform shows how out of touch Mr Musk is.”

“Social media needs to have social responsibility with it. Mr Musk is not showing any.”

Other social media companies have complied with the eSafety Commissioner’s requests without complaint, Albanese added.
“But this bloke thinks he’s above the Australian law, that he’s above common decency,” he told Sky News on Tuesday.
“No one is above the law, not Elon Musk, not any Australian citizen when it comes to operating here in Australia.”

The eSafety Commissioner complained to the Federal Court that the “graphic and violent” footage was geo-blocked by X for Australian audiences, instead of being taken down globally.

There are bipartisan calls for harsher sanctions for social media platforms after the distressing footage of the stabbing of an Assyrian bishop and a violent riot outside the church in Wakeley circulated.
Graphic footage of a man rampaging through just days earlier, killing six people, also spread online.
Over the weekend, X said , saying the eSafety Commissioner had no authority.
In the Federal Court, the commissioner urgently applied to suppress the footage on specific URLs.
The fact an Australian user could access the content via an overseas virtual private network showed it had not been removed, the commissioner’s lawyer Christopher Tran told the court.
“They could have done more,” he said.
It was unclear to observers which particular video was the target of the commissioner’s application.

But Tran described it as “graphic and violent” and capable of causing “irreparable harm” if it continued to circulate.

Footage of a boy repeatedly stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at Christ the Good Shepherd Church could still be easily found on X on Monday night.
The court agreed to an interim suppression that shields the material from all users, pending a further hearing on Wednesday.
A barrister for X, Marcus Hoyne, had asked the court to postpone the hearing without order.

Given the last-minute application and the time difference to San Francisco, where X is based, Hoyne said he needed time to seek “sensible and proper instructions”.

Granting the order would affect international users “in circumstances where it has no impact on Australia”, he noted.
Musk has been positioning X against Australian criticism as a free speech victory and censorship champion.
Overnight, he posted to X: “I’d like to take a moment to thank the PM for informing the public that this platform is the only truthful one.”

Last week, he branded the eSafety Commissioner a “censorship commissar”.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Anthony Albanese criticises ‘arrogant’ Elon Musk’s response to Australia’s X takedown order”
  1. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is absolutely right in his criticism of Elon Musk’s response. It is concerning to see someone with such influence show disregard for the law and common decency. The eSafety Commissioner is simply carrying out her duty to protect Australians, and Musk’s actions highlight his arrogance and lack of social responsibility.

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