Insights from Quadrant

Bluff called

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, who worked in Twitter’s left-canted censorship mill until Elon Musk took over and restored free speech, seems to have some sort of animus against the platform and has ordered that footage of a teenage Muslim fanatic stabbing a bishop at the altar must be taken down.

That an unelected bureaucrat can issue orders and threaten fines in Australia seems perfectly fine with Anthony Albanese & Co, as they haven’t uttered a peep about it. Likewise, they appear to have no problem with Ms Grant insisting the footage also be taken down globally.

But it’s not OK with Elon Musk, who has issued the statement below:

The recent attacks in Australia are a horrific assault on free society. Our condolences go out to those who have been affected, and we stand with the Australian people in calling for those responsible to be brought to justice. Following these events, the Australian eSafety Commissioner ordered X to remove certain posts in Australia that publicly commented on the recent attack against a Christian Bishop.

These posts did not violate X’s rules on violent speech. X believes that eSafety’s order was not within the scope of Australian law and we complied with the directive pending a legal challenge. X has now received a demand from the eSafety Commissioner that X globally withhold these posts or face a daily fine of $785,000 AUD (about $500,000 USD).

This was a tragic event and we do not allow people to praise it or call for further violence.

There is a public conversation happening about the event, on X and across Australia, as is often the case when events of major public concern occur. While X respects the right of a country to enforce its laws within its jurisdiction, 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. Global takedown orders go against the very principles of a free and open internet and threaten free speech everywhere.

The saddest thing about this episode: Defending free speech in Australia falls by default to an American billionaire.

— rf

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