Australian PM Anthony Albanese Describes X's Legal Battle Against Church Stabbing Posts Removal as 'Extraordinary'

By Leira Aquino

Apr 22, 2024 02:57 AM EDT

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Australian PM Anthony Albanese Describes Elon Musk’s X's plan to challenge the Australian regulatory board’s order to delete certain posts about the stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at a church in Sydney.
(Photo : Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Social media platform X, formerly Twitter, has recently announced its decision to challenge an order issued by the Australian regulatory body regarding the removal of specific posts related to the stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel in Sydney. 

This move by X was described by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as "extraordinary," as first reported by Reuters

X Plans to Contest Australian Regulatory Body's Order to Remove Posts

The incident in question involves a 16-year-old boy who was charged with a terrorism offense for allegedly stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at a church in the New South Wales capital. 

Videos circulating online depicted the boy being restrained by the congregation while making accusations against the bishop regarding insults to Islam.

The Australian eSafety Commissioner directed X to remove certain posts in Australia discussing the attack on the Christian Bishop. 

Failure to comply would result in a daily fine of A$785,000 ($500,000), as per the regulator's directives.

X's Global Government Affairs division responded by stating that the eSafety Commissioner's order exceeded the boundaries of Australian law. The platform also argued that the posts did not breach its guidelines on violent speech.

X complied with the directive pending a legal challenge, emphasizing that the Commissioner lacks the authority to control global content visibility on its platform. 

It plans to contest what it perceives as an "unlawful and dangerous approach" in court.

READ NEXT: Sydney Mall Stabbing Suspect Killed Prominent Businessman John Singleton's Daughter While Shopping for Her Wedding

Australian PM Disagrees with X's Decision to Challenge Regulatory Order

In a press conference, Prime Minister Albanese expressed his astonishment at X's decision to challenge the regulator's order, highlighting the contrast with other social media providers' responses. 

For Albanese, some social media posts heightened the suffering of many people.

The prime minister emphasized that the issue was not about freedom of expression but rather about preventing the dissemination of false information that could fuel division and harm.

"This is about the dangerous implications that can occur when things that are simply not true ... are replicated and weaponised in order to cause division, " Albanese said. 

READ MORE: US Committee Reveals Secret Brazil Court Orders to Elon Musk's X Regarding Account Suspensions

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