Australia drops case against X over video footage of stabbings in churches


Australia’s internet watchdog has dismissed a lawsuit against Elon Musk’s social media platform X, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant said on Wednesday.

Australia wanted to force X to remove images of a stabbing in a church in Sydney from the platform. X blocked the posts in Australia pending a legal challenge, before the Federal Court ordered the platform to temporarily hide the video from all users worldwide.

Inman-Grant said in a statement that a case in federal court has now been abandoned.

“Our sole purpose and focus in issuing our takedown notice was to prevent these extremely violent images from going viral, which could potentially incite further violence and cause further harm to the Australian community. I stand by my investigators and the decisions that eSafety has made,” she said.

“Most Australians believe this type of graphic material should not be broadcast on television, which begs the obvious question of why it should be freely available online 24/7 to everyone, including children.”

The case was seen as a test of Australia’s ability to make social media platforms comply with the country’s laws.

ESafety remained committed to holding companies to account “without fear or favour, ensuring they comply with the laws of Australia and prioritize the safety and well-being of all Australians,” Inman-Grant said.

“We will not deviate from this promise.”

A 16-year-old boy was charged with a terrorism offense after two people were injured in the alleged stabbing at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Sydney’s west on April 15. The attack on the church came days after six people were killed and dozens injured. a stabbing in a Sydney shopping centre.

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