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Australia drops legal battle against X

Australia drops legal battle against X

Australia battle

Australia has dropped its legal battle against Elon Musk’s social media platform, X, over graphic footage of a church stabbing in Sydney. The eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman-Grant, had threatened X and other social media companies with hefty fines if they did not remove videos of the April attack on Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, which was livestreamed online. The case was seen as a critical test of Australia’s ability to enforce online safety rules against social media giants.

The Federal Court had temporarily ordered X to hide the videos globally, but the platform initially refused, arguing that the order was not valid.

Legal decision on Musk’s platform

X eventually blocked access to the video within Australia, but users could bypass this restriction using a VPN.

Inman-Grant said “multiple considerations” led to the decision to drop the case, which she believed would “likely achieve the most positive outcome for the online safety of all Australians, especially children.” She stood by the commission’s decisions, stating their goal was to prevent the violent footage from going viral and potentially inciting further violence. X’s Global Government Affairs team responded, saying they were “heartened to see that freedom of speech has prevailed.” They criticized the commission’s orders as “unlawful and dangerous,” arguing that global takedown orders opposed the principles of a free and open internet and posed a threat to free speech. The team added, “This was a tragic event, and we do not allow people to praise it or call for further violence.” Inman-Grant also disclosed that Musk’s attention to the case resulted in harassment from his followers, including death threats and the exposure of her children’s personal information online.

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