Unhinged: Australian senator calls for Elon Musk's arrest over free speech battle

Outspoken Australian senator Jacqui Lambie has called for Elon Musk to be jailed as politicians and mainstream media ramp up attack on X platform.

Unhinged: Australian senator calls for Elon Musk's arrest over free speech battle
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Australian Senator Jacqui Lambie has intensified her campaign against Elon Musk, demanding his imprisonment over his stance on free speech. Lambie, urged fellow politicians to demonstrate their seriousness by boycotting Musk's platform, X.

"Elon Musk has no social conscience whatsoever... whatever he is on that makes him say that’s okay to continue to [broadcast misinformation] is absolutely disgusting behaviour and quite frankly the bloke should be jailed," Lambie stated on ABC radio.

She further declared her own boycott of X, urging her parliamentary colleagues to follow suit. Lambie minced no words in her criticism of Musk, branding him a "social media knob" who deserves to be shut down.

The feud between Musk and Australian authorities escalated after X refused to censor content related to a stabbing incident, prompting criticism from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Musk, in response, ridiculed Albanese's remarks, asserting X's commitment to free speech.

“Our concern is that if ANY country is allowed to censor content for ALL countries, which is what the Australian ‘eSafety Commissar’ is demanding, then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire Internet,” Musk posted on his platform.

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

While mainstream media largely condemned Musk, Australian users of X overwhelmingly supported his stance on free speech.

The West Australian newspaper headlined its front page with "X MARKS THE LOSER" with a crossed-out image of Musk and Australian journalists have been vocal in their opposition to Musk's free speech ambition.

This rift underscores growing concerns over government censorship and control of online discourse, particularly amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian users of the X platform, formerly Twitter, however overwhelmingly voiced their support for Musk's free speech stance, hailing him for standing firm on his position as censorship concerns grow across Western nations while governments grapple for narrative control with many nations introducing censorship bills in parliament to reign in "misinformation" and "disinformation".

Free speech advocates online however have expressed concern over how governments will classify what is misinformation, and what isn't, with many expressing concerns highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic where the narrative from media and governments drastically shifted over time.

The clash also reignited debates over the role of the eSafety Commissioner, with critics accusing her of overreach and advocating for her removal.

Women's rights advocate Katherine Deves accused the eSafety Commissioner of “complete totalitarianism” as public calls grow for her role to be abolished.

“Her role should be abolished,” Deves told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“We do not need an eSafety commissioner.

“Looking at her mandate, which is supposed to be about bullying and online digital abuse, she has gone way beyond her ambit in seeking to censor Australians.

“To censor things that the powers that be don’t like, that indeed, she personally appears not to like.”

The legal battle between X and Australian authorities continues, raising pivotal questions about internet governance and freedom of expression.

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