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X to Challenge Australian Regulator’s Order in Court Over Bishop Stabbing Posts

X has defied Australian regulatory body’s order to remove posts on bishop stabbing, citing freedom of expression.

In a recent development, social media platform X has announced its intention to contest an order issued by an Australian regulatory body, demanding the removal of certain posts related to the stabbing of a bishop in Sydney. 

The move comes in response to an incident where a 16-year-old boy was charged with a terrorism offense for allegedly stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at a church in the New South Wales capital on Monday.

According to reports, footage from the scene depicted the boy being restrained by the congregation, while he shouted accusations that Bishop Emmanuel had insulted Islam. 

In light of this, X’s Global Government Affairs division stated that the Australian eSafety Commissioner had instructed the company to remove specific posts in Australia that discussed the recent attack against the Christian Bishop. 

Failure to comply with the directive would result in a daily fine of A$785,000 ($500,000), as outlined by the regulator.

X, however, contends that the eSafety Commissioner’s order exceeds the scope of Australian law and maintains that it has complied with the directive pending a legal challenge. 

Asserting its stance, X stressed that the eSafety Commissioner lacks the authority to dictate the content visible to its global user base and vowed to vigorously contest what it deems as an “unlawful and dangerous approach” in court.

“X believes that eSafety’s order was not within the scope of Australian law and we complied with the directive pending a legal challenge.

“The eSafety Commissioner does not have the authority to dictate what content X’s users can see globally. We will robustly challenge this unlawful and dangerous approach in court.”

In response to X’s remarks, a spokesperson for the regulatory agency referred to a statement by the eSafety Commissioner, indicating that efforts are underway to ensure X’s compliance with Australian legislation. 

The agency further hinted at the possibility of taking additional regulatory action, signaling a potential escalation in the ongoing dispute.

It is noteworthy that the regulatory body, tasked with removing harmful online content, had previously issued legal notices to various social media platforms, including X, in March, seeking information about their measures to combat terrorism-related content. 

Meanwhile, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, known for his social media presence and controversial sermons, has garnered followers worldwide but remains a polarizing figure due to his outspoken views on topics such as homosexuality, COVID vaccinations, Islam, and U.S. President Joe Biden’s election.

Chioma Kalu

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