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Musk Says Australian Bishop’s Stabbing Video Doesn’t Promote Violence

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, gestures as he attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo/File Photo

Elon Musk is in a battle with Australian authorities as officials of the social media platform X have refused to take down a video of an Australian bishop being stabbed during a sermon in church in Sydney. According to an ABC news report, the move comes in contravention of an Australian court ruling which stated that X must hide the footage from its users worldwide. The ruling comes after a motion was brought by Australia’s eSafety Commission which stated that the video must be blocked due to its graphic content.

Musk who is already accused of violating an order by a Brazilian court, which ordered X to take down Brazilian far-right accounts has so far not directly replied to the Australian court ruling. He however shared a series of posts by another user which described the takedown order as part of a World Economic Forum “plot to impose eSafety rules on the world,” commenting that it was an “accurate thread.”

The issue has garnered heated debate in Australia where Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called him an “arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency”.  In response, Musk stated in a series of Tweets on X. “Our concern is that if ANY country is allowed to censor content for ALL countries, which is what the Australian ‘eSafety Commissar’ is demanding, then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire Internet?”

“We have already censored the content in question for Australia, pending legal appeal, and it is stored only on servers in the USA.”

Apart from Musk’s statement, X’s “global government affairs” account said the video was taken by an “innocent bystander” and should not have been banned under Australian law, which “permits content that can be reasonably considered as part of public discussion or debate.”

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“The content within the posts does not encourage or provoke violence,” the X account said.

Australian authorities have said that the 16-year-old boy who stabbed the bishop on April 15 attack has been charged with terrorist offences.

After raids related to the incident, police charged five associates of the youth, also teenagers, with terrorism offences including possessing extremist material.

(With inputs from Reuters)