Musk vs Australia

In the wake of a stabbing during a church service, Australia has found itself in a clash with tech giant Elon Musk and X. The Australian government’s demand for the removal of footage of the attack has been met with a staunch pushback from Musk, who argues that the removal of such content internationally would go against X’s principles of free speech.

Even though this resistance has sparked outrage from Australian officials, it has highlighted a glaring inconsistency in X’s approach to content moderation. Australia’s plea is valid – preventing the spread of content showing gratuitous violence or misinformation is necessary. That being said, if Musk is committed to upholding his personal philosophies on his platform, he is allowed to stand by his principles.

However, if there is one thing that this genocide has shed light upon, it is that there is no limit to the West’s hypocrisy and double standards. While X has vehemently refused to comply with Australia’s directives, it has readily acquiesced to demands from Zionist entities and the US to censor hundreds of pro-Palestine accounts and hide content.

How Musk operates his platform is ultimately his decision. But if freedom of speech is a principle the platform values to this extent, then this freedom ought to be extended to all individuals. X has justified their bans, arguing that pro-Palestine content incites violence, and while this is clearly debatable, there is no doubting the fact that external forces have played a role in X’s censorship of content – a precedent that Musk did not want to set by complying with Australia’s demands. If anything, this controversy has underlined how important a role X and Meta play as disseminators of information and shaping discourse. Major world governments and entities are deeply invested in the platform’s content – the same has been seen in Pakistan where the repercussions of the platform’s ban have been keenly felt since February. Perhaps this power is a signal for some level of multilateral intervention to ensure neutrality and accountability on the platform.

It would not be unreasonable for entities like the UN to step in and establish regulations on these platforms to ensure that the spread of information is not artificially inflated or deflated by individual tech moguls. As hard as it may be to regulate, it seems irrefutable now that such platforms simply hold too much power for one man to wield.

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