Australian Regulator Drops Legal Battle Against X Over Stabbing Video

Updated 10:30 AM AEST, June 23, 2023

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The online safety watchdog in Australia announced on Wednesday that she has decided to withdraw her Federal Court case against X Corp. regarding a video showing the stabbing of a Sydney bishop. However, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant mentioned that she will continue pursuing legal action against the platform under a new name, which was rebranded in 2023 after being acquired by Elon Musk.

Musk expressed his support for the decision, emphasizing the importance of freedom of speech. The case will now be pursued in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, a body that reviews administrative decisions made by government officials. Inman Grant cited financial considerations as a key factor in consolidating the legal action against X.

The Commissioner also disclosed that her legal actions against X had led to online attacks against her and her family, including the unauthorized release of personal information, known as doxxing. She attributed these attacks to Musk’s influence and expressed concerns about the impact of such behavior on regulators.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland voiced her support for Inman Grant’s decision and emphasized the government’s backing for regulatory efforts to ensure online safety. X had been the only social media platform that refused to comply with eSafety’s directive to remove the video of the stabbing incident involving a 16-year-old.

Despite facing criticism from Musk and others, Inman Grant remains committed to holding X accountable for its actions, including its handling of child sexual abuse material. The case has sparked a debate on the boundaries of free speech and the responsibilities of online platforms.

In the wake of the recent developments, the eSafety Commissioner will continue to pursue legal avenues to address online safety concerns and hold platforms accountable for their content moderation practices.