2nd Country Calls For Arrest Of Elon Musk After He Refuses To Censor Video

In an ongoing legal battle, Australia’s eSafety commissioner is seeking to hold social media giant X accountable for failing to remove violent footage of a stabbing in a Sydney church. The incident, which took place last Monday during a live-streamed service, involved a 16-year-old boy who has since been charged with a terrorism offense. The removal of the footage, which has been deemed “graphic and violent,” has sparked controversy, with X’s owner, billionaire Elon Musk, challenging the order in court.

During an urgent last-minute federal court hearing on Monday evening, the court granted an interim injunction ordering X to block the footage globally, not just to Australian audiences. This comes after X had initially only blocked access to the footage for Australian users, citing jurisdictional and free speech concerns. In response to the court order, Musk took to Twitter, calling the eSafety commissioner an “Australian censorship commissar” and raising concerns about the country’s attempts to censor content for all users.

Amidst political unity, the eSafety commissioner’s office has been steadfast in its pursuit of removing the violent footage from social media platforms. The office has been in communication with Meta (formerly known as Facebook), Google, Microsoft, Snap, and TikTok, all of whom have complied with requests to remove the footage. However, X continues to challenge the eSafety commissioner’s order, with lawyer Christopher Tran arguing that the company “could have done more” in terms of restricting access to the footage.

The eSafety commissioner’s legal counsel also highlighted X’s questionable response to the order, citing the company’s decision to only block access to the footage for Australian users. This left the footage still accessible to international users or Australians using a virtual private network. The counsel argued that X should take “true and efficient steps” to shield the footage from all users, not just Australians. This raised concerns about the impact of violent content on the mental health and well-being of individuals worldwide.

In response to the eSafety commissioner’s court application, X’s lawyer, Marcus Hoyne, argued for a postponement until proper instructions could be obtained from the company’s headquarters in San Francisco. However, his appeal was rejected by Justice Geoffrey Kennett, who granted an interim order suppressing the footage until at least Wednesday afternoon. The case will return to court on Wednesday for further argument about a permanent order.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese labeled X’s response to the eSafety commissioner’s order as “extraordinary” and criticized the social media platform’s decision to challenge the order in court. He emphasized that the issue was not about freedom of expression but rather the dangerous implications that can occur when violent content is replicated and used to cause division. Other politicians weighed in on the debate, with Tanya Plibersek calling Musk an “egotistical billionaire” and Sarah Hanson-Young referring to him as a “narcissistic cowboy.”

In the face of mounting pressure, X continues to face criticism for its defiance of the eSafety commissioner’s order. The company has been accused of prioritizing its own agenda over the well-being and safety of its users. Meanwhile, the eSafety Commission remains resolute in its efforts to protect Australians from serious online harms. With the final hearing yet to take place, the matter is expected to be closely monitored by both legal experts and concerned citizens.


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