Jacqui Lambie tells Elon Musk to don his ‘big boy pants’ as stoush over Wakeley vision returns to court

Remy Varga and Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Senator Jacqui Lambie hit back at Elon Musk after he labelled her an “enemy of the people of Australia” as his legal stoush over extremist content online returns to court.
Senator Jacqui Lambie hit back at Elon Musk after he labelled her an “enemy of the people of Australia” as his legal stoush over extremist content online returns to court. Credit: Facebook

Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has hit back at X owner Elon Musk after he labelled her an “enemy of the people of Australia” amid a legal stoush between the Australian government and the billionaire over extremist content online.

Musk has been attempting to position himself as a saviour of free speech by resisting a court order to remove vision of the stabbing terror attack on Assyrian bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel from his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Hardly one to back down from a fight, Senator Lambie taunted Musk’s in return for his name-calling tactics, saying the billionaire will not “put his big boy pants on” and remove the posts because he lacks a “social conscience”.

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“Elon Musk’s X was asked by the Australian online safety regulator to remove 65 tweets containing video of the Sydney church stabbing attack,” Ms Lambie wrote.

“The AFP told the Federal court that “there is a real risk” the video could be used to encourage people in Australia to join a terrorist organisation or undertake a terrorist act.

“Elon Musk should put his big boy pants on and do the right thing — but he won’t because he has no social conscience.”

The sentiment echoes Ms Lambie declaration on Tuesday that Musk had no “conscience whatsoever”. She said the billionaire should be in jail.

“Elon Musk has no social conscience or conscience whatsoever,” she told the ABC.

“Whatever Elon Musk is on that says that that’s okay to continue to air that [extremist material] is absolutely disgusting behaviour.

“And quite frankly the bloke should be jailed. And the sooner we can bring rules in or do something about this sort of game playing with our social media, the better off we are going to be.

“But quite frankly the power that man has because of that platform he’s on, it’s got to stop. It’s absolutely got to stop.”

An X user shared a video of Lambie’s comments with the caption “This Australian senator should be in jail for censoring free speech.

Musk responded with “Absolutely. She is an enemy of the Australian people”.

A two-day court order compelling X to block the Wakeley footage internationally expires on Wednesday afternoon.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant is due to ask the Federal Court to extend the order and set up a final hearing to debate a proposed permanent takedown order and civil penalties against X Corp.

But Ms Inman Grant, backed by a rare united front of Australian politicians, wants the “extreme violent video content” deleted from servers as other social media platforms have done.

“To be clear, eSafety’s removal notice does not relate to commentary, public debate or other posts about this event - even those which may link to extreme violent content,” a spokesman said on Tuesday.

“It only concerns the video of the violent stabbing attack on Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel.”

X could be slapped with a massive fine if it does not comply and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has declared war on the “arrogant billionaire” for flouting Australia’s social media laws.

Mr Musk has compared Ms Inman Grant to a Communist authority, saying permitting her powers to extend beyond Australia’s borders could allow a single country to control the entire internet.

“We have already censored the content in question for Australia, pending legal appeal, and it is stored only on servers in the USA,” he posted to X on Tuesday morning.

The legal case continues as growing attention focuses on tech giants in Australia.

In a rare joint public appearance ASIO director-general Mike Burgess and Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw will speak at the National Press Club on Wednesday where they will accuse tech companies of failing to obey the law on encrypted messaging and fanning the flames of division.


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