Elon Musk and Australian Prime Minister argue over assault video: what’s going on?

Elon Musk and Australian Prime Minister argue over assault video: what’s going on?

Australia’s prime minister says Elon Musk is an “arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law” over his reluctance to remove footage of church stabbing X last week.

In response, Elon Musk thanked him “for informing the public that this platform is the only truthful one”.

This dispute comes after a week of legal battles and public arguments between Australian Government.

So what’s going on?

Last week, Two clerics from Sydney’s Assyrian Church of Christ the Good Shepherd have been stabbed while live streaming a service.

Shortly after, videos of stabbings began circulating on social media. Australia’s Electronic Security Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, has issued notices to Meta And X to have them deleted.

Bishop among several stabbed in attack during church service
Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed during a live broadcast of his church service

The videos were classified by Australian law as “class 1” material, depicting gratuitous or offensive violence with a high degree of impact or detail.

Sky News broadcast footage of the moments before the stabbing.

When the notice was issued, Meta complied and removed the videos from its platforms. X, however, announced that he would contest it.

X effectively blocked the videos in Australia, but the government’s eSafety department argued that was not enough because the posts were still accessible worldwide.

Debate over Internet “control”

On Monday evening, eSafety obtained a legal injunction requiring X to hide the videos globally, but has yet to respond.

Today, Elon Musk is accusing the eSafety Commissioner, whom he previously called the “Censorship Commissioner,” of wanting to control the Internet.

“Our concern is: if ANY country is allowed to censor content from ALL countries, what will stop one country from controlling the entire Internet?” he posted on X.

Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, has spoken out about the feud during media tours.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Company that the country would “do what is necessary to take on this arrogant billionaire who thinks he is above the law, but also above common decency.”

Anthony Albanese addresses a candlelight vigil on Sydney's Bondi Beach.  Photo: AP
Anthony Albanese called Elon Musk an “arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law.” Photo: AP

He called Elon Musk “a guy who chose ego and violence over common sense” in an interview with Sky News Australia.

“Australians will shake their heads when they think that this billionaire is prepared to go to court, to fight for the right to sow division and show very distressing violent videos,” he said.

“Road to Freedom”

He also confirmed that other platforms had removed the videos.

In response, Mr. Musk posted an image showing a “path to freedom” with an X at the end.

“Don’t take my word for it, just ask the Australian Prime Minister!” he wrote.

What happens if X does not comply?

If X does not comply with eSafety’s injunction, the company may be fined and subject to legal sanctions.

eSafety also has the power to remove links to content from search engines and remove X from app stores, but there is no indication this is being considered.


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