Australia: Albanese Denounces Musk in Censorship Row

Australia: Albanese Denounces Musk in Censorship Row
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The Facts

  • The Federal Court in Sydney has temporarily granted Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant's demand that social media platform X, formerly Twitter, block worldwide access to video footage of the knife attack on a Christian bishop in Sydney.

  • The Elon Musk-owned company on Friday agreed to take the video down in Australia but not globally, stating that it would challenge the broader demand in court. It also said it was threatened with a $500K daily fine for not abiding by the order.

The Spin

Left narrative

Elon Musk, who has banned the accounts of several journalists who criticized him, is clearly not a free speech warrior. What he actually is is an executive willing to broadcast violent content to satisfy a fan base — even if it violates common decency and Australian law. Musk chose to take over a global platform, which means he must now account for the rules and laws prescribed to it by people who disagree with his definition of free speech.

Right narrative

Elon Musk's definition of free speech has given all people — no matter what government tries to censor them — access to videos of current events so they can decide what content they do and don't consume. It's the unelected eSafety Commissioner — who also happens to be a disgruntled former Twitter employee — who wants to impose her woke agenda. Australia is being run by cynical authoritarians, but Musk has chosen to fight back.

Cynical narrative

This tit-for-tat between a billionaire and a prime minister is disingenuous on both sides. While Australia's legal system seeks to develop a thoughtful adjudication on this matter, Musk and Albanese have chosen to butt heads over who's more powerful. The debate over online content is one of the most pressing of our time, but corporate and government entities are using the issue to gain popularity within their respective audiences.

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