Both sides of Australia's parliament united over censorship goals

Australia faces global free speech criticism over censorship demands as social media giants clash with eSafety Commissioner.

Both sides of Australia's parliament united over censorship goals
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Both sides of the Australian parliament have drawn criticism from free speech advocates over the support of censorship demands to block Australians from seeing 'distressing content' on social media.

Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt has hit back at Elon Musk's criticism of the eSafety Commissioner, calling out the tech billionaire's stance on free speech and censorship.

Musk's strong words came after controversial eSafety Commissioner and former Twitter employee, Julie Inman Grant, ordered a 'global takedown' of content related to the shocking stabbing incident at a Western Sydney church.

The eSafety Commissioner issued an ultimatum to X, threatening a $USD500,000 daily fine unless posts regarding the Wakeley church incident were removed.

Defending her actions, Inman Grant stated she had the power to demand the removal of 'extreme violent material' and would escalate measures if necessary.

In a recent interview, Murray Watt expressed support for stronger laws against what the government labels ' misinformation,' citing recent events in Sydney as evidence of the need for rapid legislative response to evolving technology.

While many Australians on social media have shared their concerns over a negative impact to free speech, Opposition leader Peter Dutton has joined in support for crackdowns on the 'spread of misinformation,' signalling a potentially unpopular shift in Coalition stance on government legislation previously criticised for its impact on free speech.

The debate underscores the ongoing struggle between government regulation, free speech, and the responsibilities of social media platforms in Australia's digital landscape.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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