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Musk says X will appeal Australia injunction on church stabbing videos

Elon Musk said his social media platform X will appeal against an Australian injunction forcing it to take down videos of a church stabbing.

Elon Musk bought the platform, then known as Twitter, for $44 billion last year
Image: - © AFP DAVID GRAY
Image: - © AFP DAVID GRAY

Elon Musk said Tuesday his social media platform X will appeal against an Australian injunction forcing it to take down videos of a church stabbing in Sydney.

Ausralia’s internet watchdog secured an injunction late Monday, forcing X to hide videos that allegedly show a Sydney bishop being slashed in the head during a live-streamed sermon.

X ignored earlier Australian pleas to remove the images, and Musk had said the company would appeal against the injunction on free speech grounds.

“Our concern is that if ANY country is allowed to censor content for ALL countries, which is what the Australian ‘eSafety Commissar’ is demanding, then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire Internet,” the tech billionaire posted on X.

“We have already censored the content in question for Australia, pending legal appeal, and it is stored only on servers in the USA,” he added.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Musk was an “arrogant billionaire” who was blind to the distress caused by the videos.

“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 public broadcaster ABC. 

“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.”

Australia’s eSafety Commission was granted a late night injunction compelling X to remove the church stabbing footage for two days. 

The case will return to court later this week.

X had blocked the videos in Australia, but they could still be seen by users in other parts of the world.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly slashed in the head and chest by a 16-year-old suspect last week, sparking a riot by followers of the Assyrian Christian church in western Sydney.

Video of the bloody attack, which spread widely on social media platforms, has been blamed by Australian authorities for feeding tensions in the community.

AFP
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