Musk’s X in fresh fight with Australia

Elon Musk To Visit Tesla Gigafactory Following Sabotage
Elon Musk’s X Corp will take on the eSafety Commissioner in court later this year. Photo: Maja Hitij/Getty Images.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner will take on Elon Musk’s X Corp in court later this year after it issued the social media giant with a six-figure fine, a court has heard,

eSafety in December last year announced that it had commenced civil proceedings in the Federal Court against X Corp relating to its response to a “transparency notice”.

In a statement, eSafety said the notice required the company to explain how it was “meeting the Basic Online Safety Expectations in relation to child sexual exploitation and abuse material”.

eSafety has alleged that X Corp “failed to respond or failed to respond truthfully and accurately to certain questions” and issued the company with a $615,500 infringement notice.

X Corp is separately seeking judicial review of the infringement notice and has launched proceedings which will run alongside the case launched by the eSafety Commissioner.

Milken Institute's Global Conference Held In Beverly Hills
Elon Musk’s X Corp will take on the eSafety Commissioner in court later this year. Photo: Apu Gomes/Getty Images/AFP.

In a concise statement filed in the Federal Court, eSafety says it issued the notice to Twitter in February 2023, before the social media company merged with Musk’s X Corp - which is incorporated in Nevada in the United States - in March last year.

The case relates to the company’s response in March 2023, which was said to be from Twitter Inc, which did not exist by that time.

eSafety argues in its concise statement that although the notice was initially issued to Twitter Inc, X Corp was capable of responding to the notice.

X Corp is defending the case, with the court hearing on Friday that two legal experts will be called when the matter goes to hearing later this year.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman.

The court heard the case would hinge on how foreign regulatory obligations are treated under Nevada law.

The matter will return to court later this year

Earlier this week, X had a big legal win over the eSafety Commissioner, which announced it had dropped its battle with the social media company relating to its refusal to remove videos of a stabbing attack on a Sydney bishop.

The eSafety Commission was attempting to force X to remove videos of footage of an alleged terror attack in which Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed during a live-streamed sermon.

X Corp initially agreed to “geoblock” the content, which restricted local access, but claimed the Australian government lacked authority to force a global ban.

Australia’s eSafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant Inman Grant announced on Wednesday that those proceedings would be discontinued.