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Australia Drops Bid to Censor X Platform After Free Speech Legal Challenge

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The Australian eSafety commissioner’s pursuit of legal action to compel Elon Musk’s social media platform, X, to censor posts about a church stabbing in Sydney is being abandoned. Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant announced the decision following several setbacks in court and the expiration of a temporary order to conceal the footage.

Inman-Grant emphasized that the choice to drop the case was made after considering multiple factors, including ongoing litigation in other matters. She asserted, “Our sole goal and focus in issuing our removal notice was to prevent this extremely violent footage from going viral, potentially inciting further violence and inflicting more harm on the Australian community and I stand by my investigators and the decisions eSafety made.”

The case had been a pivotal moment in Australia’s efforts to impose its censorship not only on users in Australia, but on users around the world.

X’s government affairs arm welcomed the news, stating, “This case has raised important questions on how legal powers can be used to threaten global censorship of speech, and we are heartened to see that freedom of speech has prevailed.”

Initially, X resisted the eSafety notice to remove the videos, which were later classified as an act of terror. Despite a Federal Court order to hide the footage temporarily, X defied the directive, questioning the validity of the initial takedown order. Last month, a court gave X its first win against the government’s censorship demands, ruling against a temporary block.

Musk has openly criticized the controversial commissioner Inman-Grant, branding her as a global “censorship commissar.”

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