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FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of Twitter, gestures as he attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

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Elon Musk and Australian PM Clash Over Social Media Censorship in Wake of Church Stabbing

Elon Musk and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese find themselves at odds over a court ruling mandating the removal of certain posts on a social media platform related to a church stabbing incident.

In Sydney, an Australian judge has ordered the social media platform in question, referred to as “X,” to block users globally from accessing videos depicting a knife attack on an Assyrian Christian bishop. This decision comes following a request from the country’s internet watchdog.

Prime Minister Albanese has criticized Musk, characterizing him as an “arrogant billionaire” who disregards both the law and common decency. Albanese emphasized the role of the eSafety Commissioner in safeguarding Australian interests, condemning Musk’s stance as out-of-touch and lacking in social responsibility.

Musk, who acquired the platform formerly known as Twitter, has indicated his intention to contest the court order. He argues against the precedent of any country having the authority to censor content globally and highlights the platform’s compliance with Australian directives while storing the contentious material solely on US servers.

Australia has attributed community tensions in multicultural Sydney to social media posts concerning the attack on Bishop Emmanuel. The country’s Online Safety Act, enacted in 2021, holds tech companies accountable for content shared on their platforms.

Bishop Emmanuel, targeted during a mass service broadcast online, sustained head injuries but survived the attack. In the ensuing riot outside the church, over 50 police officers were injured and numerous police vehicles damaged. Despite the turmoil, Bishop Emmanuel has conveyed a message of forgiveness towards his attacker.

Authorities have charged a 16-year-old with terrorism-related offenses in connection with the stabbing incident.

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