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Australian Judge Bans Twitter From Circulating Video Of Bishop’s Stabbing: REPORT

An Australian judge ruled Twitter must block a circulating video of a bishop’s stabbing from being viewed by users across the world in a Monday decision.

Footage of Bishop H.G. Mar Mari Emmanuel being stabbed during an Assyrian Orthodox church service circulated online on April 15 before being blocked in Australia, according to ABC News. The stabbing caused around 2,000 people to riot against police, injuring 51 police officers and leading to the arrest of three rioters.

Australia’s eSafety Commission — the regulator that ordered the video’s removal — requested the Federal Court in Sydney to block the video on a global scale, which Justice Geoffrey Kennett later granted until Wednesday when a hearing for a permanent ban is set to be heard. The judge gave the platform 24 hours to “hide” the video from users, according to the outlet.

The regulator’s attorney, Stephen Tran, said the “graphic and violent” video would cause “irreparable harm if it’s continuing to circulate,” according to the outlet. Twitter’s lawyer Marcus Hoyne said the platform was unable to receive instructions due to the timezone difference.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk previously accused eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant of being the “Australian censorship commissar.”

“The Australian censorship commissar is demanding ‘global’ content bans!” Musk wrote in an April 19 tweet.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese condemned Twitter’s decision to leave the video on the platform. (RELATED: Video Shows Brutal Stabbing Attack Against Christian Preacher That Sparked Massive Riot) 

“This isn’t about freedom of expression. This is about the dangerous implications that can occur when things that are simply not true, that everyone knows is not true, are replicated and weaponized in order to cause division and this case, to promote negative statements and potentially to just inflame what was a very difficult situation,” Albanese said Monday. “And social media has a social responsibility.”

Twitter’s Global Government Affairs team said Inman Grant ordered the removal of some comments on the church attack Saturday and threatened to impose a $785,000 daily fine, ABC News reported.

“X believes that eSafety’s order was not within the scope of Australian law and we complied with the directive pending a legal challenge,” the Global Government Affairs account said in a statement. “While X respects the right of a country to enforce its laws within its jurisdiction, the eSafety Commissioner does not have the authority to dictate what content X’s users can see globally. We will robustly challenge this unlawful and dangerous approach in court.”

A 16-year-old boy accused of the stabbings has since been charged with terrorism, ABC News reported. The bishop arrived at Liverpool Hospital in stable condition, and four more stabbing victims were treated for their lacerations, according to Sky News.

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