eSafety drops case against Elon Musk’s X over church stabbing videos

eSafety drops case against Elon Musk’s X over church stabbing videos
  • PublishedJune 5, 2024

A legal battle to have graphic footage of a church stabbing in Sydney removed from Elon Musk’s social media platform X will be abandoned by the eSafety commissioner.

Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant confirmed the Federal Court case would be abandoned, after several blows in court and an attempt to temporarily force the footage to be hidden expiring.

“After weighing multiple considerations, including litigation across multiple cases, I have considered this option likely to achieve the most positive outcome for the online safety of all Australians, especially children,” Ms Inman-Grant said.

“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 was seen as a test of Australia’s ability to enforce online safety requirements on the social media platforms. 

Musk taunts led to commissioner’s children being doxxed

The social media platform initially refused an eSafety notice to remove the graphic stabbing videos, later deemed an act of terror, but the Federal Court temporarily ordered X to hide the videos.

X again refused to comply with that court order, arguing the initial take down order was not valid.

Mr Musk has repeatedly taunted the commissioner over her attempt to remove footage of Wakeley bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel being stabbed, calling her a global “censorship commissar”.

In an exclusive interview with ABC Afternoon Briefing, Ms Inman-Grant argued the way the social media companies are structured meant content must be removed “globally”.

“The idea of global deletion or wanting to globally censor the internet is really a furphy … the only way you can remove that content is at scale, at the source, which is in California,” she said.

She told the ABC Mr Musk’s attack against her resulted in a pile-on from his millions of followers, and the personal information of her children being exposed online.

“He issued a dog-whistle to 181 million users around the globe, which resulted in death threats directed at me, which resulted in doxxing of my family members, including my three children, so I think with great power comes with great responsibility,” the commissioner said.

“Targeting a regulator who is here to protect the citizens of Australia is really beyond the pale, but it’s not surprising [from Mr Musk].”

Ms Inman-Grant said however she would not be cowed, and other litigation against X would continue.

The commissioner said she would now focus her efforts on those matters and an independent review of her removal notice issued to X by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


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