Should Australian Authorities Have the Power to ‘Censor Content Globally?’ Elon Musk

Monica O’Shea
By Monica O’Shea
April 23, 2024Australia
Should Australian Authorities Have the Power to ‘Censor Content Globally?’ Elon Musk
Elon Musk attends the 10th Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 13, 2024. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

X owner and tech billionaire Elon Musk has probed Australian prime minister on whether his government is attempting to “censor” content worldwide.

In response to a post from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Mr. Musk wrote, “Just want to understand clearly.

“Are you requiring this platform to censor content globally, even when that content is made inaccessible to Australian IP addresses and the content is stored only on servers in the United States?”

Prime Minister Albanese’s post featured a video with the centre-left Labor Party leader saying that social media platforms “have a responsibility to act.”

“It shouldn’t need the eSafety commissioner to intervene to take down violent videos. The social media companies, that make a lot of money out of their business, have a social responsibility. We are prepared to take whatever action is necessary to haul these companies into line,” Mr. Albanese said.

The tit-for-tat with the Australian government follows a Federal Court ruling ordering X to block all content globally related to an alleged stabbing incident involving a 16-year-old and an Assyrian Church bishop in western Sydney.

The action was lodged by the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, herself a former Twitter employee.

Australian politicians have been critical of X’s refusal to block content globally (and only domestically), with Prime Minister Albanese labelling him “arrogant” in multiple media interviews on April 23.

In another post, Mr. Musk said, “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?”

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

Musk’s Question ‘Fair’: Senator Matt Canavan

Queensland Liberal National Party Senator Matt Canavan weighed in, saying he felt Mr. Musk’s position was reasonable.

“This is a fair point. What will be our response when China asks for content to be removed globally,” Mr. Canavan said on X.

On April 16, the eSafety commissioner issued initial legal notices to X and Meta to remove material within 24 hours.

“While the majority of mainstream social media platforms have engaged with us, I am not satisfied enough is being done to protect Australians from this most extreme and gratuitous violent material circulating online,” Ms. Inman Grant said.

“That is why I am exercising my powers under the Online Safety Act to formally compel them to remove it.”

Independent Senator Leaves X and Demands Musk Be Put in Jail

Meanwhile, Jacqui Lambie Network senator calls for Mr. Musk to be put in prison.

Speaking on Sky News, the senator said, “Someone like that should be in jail and the key be thrown away. He has absolutely no social conscience.”

She claimed Mr. Musk should “not have a right” to be out there “creating hatred.”

Ms. Lambie said she will be switching off X before she gets to the airport, and suggested the other members of parliament do the same, adding, “I don’t give a stuff about the platform.”

“When you want to lead by example, it has to happen from here,” she said.

From The Epoch Times

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