Australian PM calls on social media platforms to ban memes that make fun of him

A row with the world’s richest man over censorship brought out telling commentary on what the Australian prime minister considered “misinformation.”

Much like Elon Musk’s stand in Brazil, the tech entrepreneur’s adherence to free speech absolutism has found his social media platform X at odds with the totalitarians down under. In particular, after refusing to abide by an Australian judge’s decision that video of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel’s stabbing incident be stripped from the internet, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese referred to Musk as an “arrogant billionaire.”

Of course, there appeared to be an issue with thin-skin at hand as video shared by social media user Mario Nawfal featured Albanese highlighting memes of himself under the umbrella category of “misinformation” that should be kept off the internet.

“Social media platforms have a responsibility to make sure that misinformation isn’t got out there,” said the prime minister. “I noticed today, for example, on the way up here, they’ve removed various sites that were up containing fake images of myself superimposed on other people.”

“That’s the sort of thing that is going on, on social media. Social media has a responsibility to do the right thing here,” he argued.

During a recent press conference, Albanese had called out X for its stand against Australia’s E-Safety Commissioner and argued that other social media pages had “responded appropriately” to demands of government censorship as it pertained to the video of Emmanuel’s attack, prompting Musk to reply, “I’d like to take a moment to thank the PM for informing the public that this platform is the only truthful one.”

While making media rounds Tuesday, the government official continued his grudge against free speech and told Australian Broadcasting Corp, “We’ll do what’s necessary to take on this arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency.”

“The idea that someone would go to court for the right to put up violent content on a platform shows how out of touch Mr. Musk is. Social media needs to have social responsibility,” added Albanese.

Agreeing, just not in the way the prime minister would have him, since his purchase of the platform formerly known as Twitter the “arrogant billionaire” has endeavored to expose Big Tech’s collusion with governments to control information through censorship and suppression.

Musk had recently promised to ensure the safety of employees in Brazil, faced with arrest, before he would release what was being referred to as the “Brazilian Twitter Files” to expose the corruption in the South American nation.

Australia’s efforts to control specific content on X prompted the businessman to argue, “Well, no president, prime minister or judge has authority over all of Earth! This platform adheres to the laws of countries in those countries, but it would be improper to extend one country’s rulings to other countries. If he [wants] to censor things in other countries, he should bring a legal action to bear in those countries.”

While Albanese continued to rage over Musk’s defiance in support of free speech, a point the billionaire appeared to relish in, others took the opportunity to share the sort of memes that the prime minister found so egregious.

Kevin Haggerty

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