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Australia Ends Legal Battle to Have Violent Video Removed by X

ByHuey Yee Ong

Jun 7, 2024

Australia Ends Legal Battle to Have Violent Video Removed by X

Australia’s eSafety Commission has concluded its legal efforts to have a violent video depicting a clergyman’s stabbing removed from X (formerly Twitter). The incident, which occurred on April 15 in Sydney, was broadcast online, prompting a national outcry and a swift action request from eSafety to all social media outlets.

Australia’s national regulator, eSafety, requested that all social media platforms take down the video. While eSafety claims Meta, Google, TikTok and more removed it, X only stopped Australian viewers from accessing the video — something a VPN can easily circumvent.

When eSafety pushed for it to be fully taken down, X’s CEO Elon Musk called the request an assault on free speech and argued that one country’s laws couldn’t control the entire world, The Register reported.

Despite dropping the fight against X, eSafety’s commissioner Julie Inman Grant, further reiterated their frustrations, emphasizing the agency’s intent to prevent the video from becoming viral and potentially sparking further violence. She compared the accessibility of such violent content online to its prohibition on broadcast television, questioning why the same standards should not apply to digital platforms.

Grant also pointed out that X had previously removed a similar video on a global scale, which compiled footage of the Sydney stabbing with two other incidents, showcasing a contradiction in X’s approach.

She referenced X’s violence policy, which was detailed to the European Commission last October, underscoring the platform’s commitment to remove content that promotes violent entities, speech, and sensitive media. She labeled the full removal of the video a “reasonable request,” aligning with X’s stated policies against illegal content, including terrorist acts.

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Featured Image courtesy of LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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