Australian government threatens X over post critical of WHO trans activist

Australia's 'censorship czar' pressures Elon Musk's X platform to delete a Billboard Chris post deemed offensive, threatening astronomical fines.

Australian government threatens X over post critical of WHO transgender activist
Australian female-to-male trans activist Teddy Cook (left) Chris Elston (right)
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The Australian government has stirred controversy by pressuring Elon Musk's social media platform, X, to remove a post labelled 'offensive' by a Canadian user.

X faced a legal ultimatum from the Australian Government's contentious eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, raising concerns over freedom of expression on the internet.

Chris Elston, known as 'Billboard Chris' posted on the platform about Australian female-to-male trans activist Teddy Cook, questioning her suitability as a WHO expert panel drafting guidelines for 'trans healthcare.'

In the post, Elston linked to a news article which reported on Cook's questionable past public social media posts about bondage, bestiality, nudism and drugs.

"Only tyrannical governments try to control what people can see, or what they can say," Elston said in a statement a Rebel News about the incident.

"Individuals like Teddy Cook — a woman who thinks she’s a man, and who promotes bestiality, bondage, mutilation, and drugs — have no business writing health guidelines for people struggling with various mental health issues.

"We need evidence-based healthcare, not ideologically based harm, which is what ‘trans health’ actually is."

Cook has described herself as a 'professional queer, man of trans experience', and has drawn concern over advocacy of taxpayer-funded surgeries for all trans Australians.

Despite resistance from Elston, who refused to comply with the removal notice, the post was eventually taken down, raising questions about X's stance on free speech.

The incident has reignited debates about online censorship and government overreach, with critics arguing that such actions undermine open discussions on sensitive topics.

Victorian MP David Limbrick condemned the eSafety Commissioner's intervention, labelling it as a threat to free speech.

Amid the controversy, concerns have been raised regarding the accountability of regulatory bodies like the eSafety Commissioner, particularly in light of allegations of double standards in addressing online harassment and abuse.

Critics also question the allocation of resources, pointing out the significant salary of the eSafety Commissioner juxtaposed with perceived failures in addressing broader online safety issues.

Inman Grant, a former Twitter employee, has courted controversy with censorship concerns, telling World Economic Forum attendees that free speech needs a 'recalibration' in 2022.

Last year she set her sights on Musk, issuing X a $600,000 fine along with threats of further action for what she labelled as 'deficient reporting' on its efforts against online child sexual abuse material.

Most recently, Inman Grant was grilled by Queensland One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts in parliament over her WEF attendance, particularly focusing on the costs incurred by Australian taxpayers for her international travel.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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