Australia Drops Lawsuit vs. X Over Church Stabbing Footage

By Jose Resurreccion

Jun 05, 2024 08:10 PM EDT

Australia Drops Lawsuit vs. X Over Church Stabbing Footage
(Photo : Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

The Australian eSafety Commissioner announced Wednesday (Jun. 5) that it was discontinuing its legal action against X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, over the video footage relating to the stabbing of Assyrian bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at a church in Sydney last April.

The Australian Associated Press quoted eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant saying that the regulator decided to drop its case at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to have X remove the video.

Reasons for Dropping Charges vs. X

Inman-Grant explained that the case primarily centered on the ease by which the stabbing video was accessed on X.

However, she stressed that she would continue to use all her powers under the Online Safety Act to hold tech companies to account.

The ABC reported that Musk previously taunted Inman-Grant over her attempt to have the footage removed, calling her a global "censorship commissar," leading to her family getting doxxed in the process.

Australian Communications Minister Michelle Rowland also acknowledged the decision, telling parliamentary colleagues Wednesday that Inman-Grant's decision was made due to the "reprehensible threats" to her physical safety as well as to her family.

READ NEXT: Nvidia Says Elon Musk Redirects AI Chip Orders for Tesla To X, xAI-Creating More Concerns for EV Firm's Investors

X, Musk Calling Lawsuit Drop a 'Victory' for Freedom of Speech

On the other hand X said that the watchdog's decision to drop the lawsuit was a win for freedom of speech, a sentiment shared by Elon Musk.

However, News Corp Australia executive chair Michael Miller told the National Press Club that social media companies like X were "molesting misery" and were allegedly profiting from violent and harmful content.

A review of Inman-Grant's decision to drop the charges would be conducted by the tribunal.

READ MORE: X to Allow Porn, Consensual Adult Content, Legitimizing Twitter's Earlier Policy 

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