Elon Musk taunts PM hours after Wakeley stabbing video takedown order

Georgina Noack and Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Hours after an Australian court ordered Elon Musk’s social media platform X block users from seeing violent footage he took to the platform to taunt Anthony Albanese in a meme. 
Hours after an Australian court ordered Elon Musk’s social media platform X block users from seeing violent footage he took to the platform to taunt Anthony Albanese in a meme.  Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

Elon Musk has further fuelled his bitter spat with the Australian government as the Prime Minister doubles down on his criticism of the “arrogant billionaire”.

Hours after an Australian court on Monday night ordered Musk’s social media platform X to block every user from seeing violent footage related to a Sydney church stabbing, not just for Australian audiences, Musk took to the platform to taunt Anthony Albanese.

The tech billionaire has been fighting the online safety watchdog’s legal moves to pull down the videos, labelling it censorship.

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Musk mocked Mr Albanese in a post on X to his 181.5 million followers on Monday night, thanking him for “informing the public that this platform is the only truthful one”.

The post was accompanied by a transcript from a press conference on Monday, in which Mr Albanese noted other social media companies had complied with the eSafety commissioner’s request to remove the videos.

He also posted a meme of a child deciding between two paths: one which led to X and “free speech” and “truth”, and an alternative which led to “censorship” and “propaganda” from the other social media companies.

“Don’t take my word for it, just ask the Australian PM!,” he posted.

On Tuesday morning, Mr Albanese called Musk an “arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law”.

Appearing on ABC News Breakfast, the Prime Minister supported the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant’s legal move as he laid into Musk.

“We’ll do what’s necessary to take on this arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency,” he said.

“What the eSafety Commissioner is doing is doing her job to protect the interests of Australians, and the idea that someone would go to court for the right to put up violent content on a platform shows how out-of-touch Mr Musk is. Social media needs to have social responsibility with it. Mr Musk is not showing any.”

Mr Musk posted again early on Tuesday morning, suggesting that if the Federal Government got its way then individual countries would be able to control the “entire internet”.

“Our concern is that if ANY country is allowed to censor content for ALL countries, which is what the Australian “eSafety Commissar” is demanding, then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire Internet?”

The injunction is in place until Wednesday evening.

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