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Australian PM Albenese Criticises X’s Refusal to Comply with Bishop Stabbing Posts Removal 

Australian PM Albanese warned that X’s refusal to remove posts about the Sydney bishop’s stabbing could worsen already volatile situations.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has condemned social media platform X for its decision to challenge a cyber regulator’s order to remove certain posts concerning the stabbing of a bishop in Sydney. 

Albanese labelled the move as “extraordinary” during a press conference on Monday.

Last Monday, a 16-year-old was charged with a terrorism offence in connection with the attack on Assyrian church bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. 

Videos circulating online depicted the assailant being restrained by the congregation while shouting at the bishop for allegedly insulting Islam.

Albanese criticised the dissemination of violent images and pointed out that some social media content only served to exacerbate the anguish felt by many individuals. 

“I find it extraordinary that X chose not to comply and are trying to argue their case. 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

He emphasised that promoting negative statements in such cases had the potential to inflame already volatile situations.

The Australian regulatory body, known as the eSafety Commissioner, mandated X to remove specific posts that “publicly commented” on the attack. However, X contested this directive, arguing that the posts did not contravene its rules on violent speech. 

Additionally, X claimed that the regulator lacked the authority to dictate the content its users could access globally, pledging to contest this approach in court on grounds of being “unlawful and dangerous”.

Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who acquired Twitter for $44 billion in 2022 and rebranded it as X, denounced the situation, highlighting concerns over global content bans. 

“The Australian censorship commissar is demanding global content bans!” he exclaimed in a post.

The defiance of social media platforms in curbing misinformation has drawn criticism from several lawmakers. 

Last year, the regulator reported that X had become Australia’s primary platform for online hate since Musk lifted bans on approximately 62,000 accounts.

Chioma Kalu

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