Australia invokes online censorship laws to curb 'hate' on Twitter

Australia’s cyber watchdog has sent a notice to Twitter CEO Elon Musk, demanding that the social media platform explain how it is combating online hate. The safety regulator has threatened to fine Twitter if it fails, per Axios.

A letter sent from eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said that her office has received more complaints of online hate from Twitter than any other social media platform over the last year. She has suggested that the online hate has increased since Musk took over the company.

The letter says that Twitter faces fines of $475,000 Australian if it does not respond within the next 28 days. Grant suggested that the platform has reinstated many previously banned or suspended accounts, some with more than a million followers.

However, journalist Jordan Baker published a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, which suggested that Andy Ngo was among those who were reinstated after Musk took over Twitter. 

The detail was caught by Rita Panahi on Twitter, who tagged Ngo in her tweet, which said: “So, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner who has a history of making disturbingly illiberal comments at the WEF wants to punish Twitter for having the likes of journalist/author @MrAndyNgo on the platform. If only your CEO wasn’t a like-minded, woke wacko, @elonmusk. If only…”

Ngo replied to Panahi’s tweet, tagging Banker, saying: “.@JordsBaker, I was never reinstated by Twitter following Musk’s takeover because my account had never been removed before. This is despite all the efforts by Antifa & far-left extremists to manipulate the platform with fake reports on my posts. You did not reach out for comment and have written misinformation. You’re a chief reporter and you made such juvenile mistakes?”

Grant said of the Twitter accounts reinstated: “To me, this was more like Tweeters on death row being let out of jail. These are people who can potentially amplify hate at disproportionate levels, and have outsized influence on the toxicity of the platform.”

Australia's eSafety Commission has recently censored a woman in that country for saying that only women breastfeed, claiming that this was offensive to trans-identified people, either females who breastfeed but identify as men, or to males who identify as women. That woman was a lactation specialist.

The eSafety Commission also threatened women's magazine Reduxx for identifying and naming a male soccer player who identifies as a woman, plays on a women's team, and has injured female players.

Image: Title: musk grant