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X CEO Linda Yaccarino accuses Australia of ‘overreach’ after judge lifts ban on stabbing video

PARISX Following a clash with internet safety regulators, CEO Linda Yaccarino took a hit in Australia on Friday.

Elon Musk’s social media platform X received a reprieve in Australia this week when a court refused to prolong a temporary order barring videos of a Sydney church stabbing.

Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed while delivering a livestreamed sermon that received hundreds of thousands of viewers online. Following the event, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, the country’s online watchdog, obtained a temporary legal injunction requiring X to remove posts containing footage of the attack.

In a speech at the VivaTech conference in Paris, Yaccarino accused Australia of overreach in the issue.

Where X operates to comply with the law, we are also not shy when we feel that there is a very obvious overreach, and where the citizens of that particular region are put at risk, or their access to information is compromised,” she continued.

“What was recently going on in Australia, there was a need for X to stand up and protect people to make sure they maintained access to that information so they could make up their own minds,” she said.

On May 13, a federal court judge refused the eSafety Commissioner’s request to extend an injunction ordering the removal of posts on X depicting a violent attack on a priest in April.

“The good news is that the people prevailed,” Yaccarino, the former global advertising executive of CNBC parent firm NBCUniversal, said on stage. “We’re happy to be that beacon of light and that place for truth.”

The event caused a dispute between Musk and the Australian authorities. Musk opposed the measure at the time, calling it an attack on free expression.

CNBC called Australia’s eSafety regulator for comment on Friday, but it was not immediately accessible.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remarked in an interview on April 23 that Musk believes “he’s above Australian law” and chastised him for his “arrogance.”

He stated that “this isn’t about censorship,” but about “decency,” and urged Musk to “show some.”

In response, Musk wrote on X: “I do not believe I am above the law.” Does the Prime Minister believe he should have authority over all of Earth?”

eSafety has previously stated that it believes online safety “requires platforms to do everything practical and reasonable to minimize the harm they may cause to Australians.”

CNBC’s Sumathi Bala contributed to this story.



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