Australian PM rips Musk as ‘Bloke who’s chosen ego … over common sense’

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese slammed tech billionaire Elon Musk as a “bloke” who has chosen ego “over common sense” after Musk accused the country of censorship.

“This is a bloke who’s chosen ego and showing violence over common sense,” Albanese said in an interview with “First Edition.” “I think that Australians will shake their head when they think that this billionaire is prepared to go to court, fighting for the right to sow division and to show violent videos, which are very distressing.”

Musk, the owner of the social platform X, has accused Australia of censorship after an Australian judge ruled that his platform must block users worldwide from accessing video of a bishop who was stabbed in a church in Sydney.

The material was blocked in Australia but available elsewhere. The live feed of the April 15 church attack and related social media posts attracted a crowd of 2,000 people that led to a riot against police, during which 51 police officers were injured, 104 police vehicles were damaged, and the attacker barricaded inside the church, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Albanese said Musk has a responsibility as owner of a social media platform. He said Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, has made “very sensible suggestions” to social media companies, but Musk “thinks he’s above the Australian law, that he’s above common decency.”

“I’ll tell you what I say to Elon Musk, that he is so out of touch with what the Australian public want,” he said. “This has been a distressing time, and I find this bloke on the other side of the world, from his billionaire establishments, trying to lecture Australians about free speech.”

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla, described Inman Grant as the “Australian censorship commissar.”

X’s Global Government Affairs team said Saturday that Inman Grant ordered it to remove some posts that commented on the attack in Sydney but said the posts didn’t violate the platform’s violent speech rules. If the company doesn’t remove the posts globally, it faces a daily fine of $785,000, the AP reported.

Albanese said it’s a “sensible proposition,” and because Australia gives X “a lot of profit,” he requests Musk abide by the ruling.

“No one is above the law. Not Elon Musk, not any Australian citizen,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a matter of the law. It should be a matter of people doing the right thing.”

The Hill has reached out to X for comment.

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