According to Breitbart, the deadline was issued by the Office of the Australian eSafety Commissioner – the Land Down Under's internet watchdog. Commissioner Julie Inman Grant warned Musk that he has 28 days to prove Twitter is serious about combating what Canberra calls "hate speech" and "online abuse." Failure to do so on the part of Twitter would merit daily fines of A$700,000 ($467,390).
"We need accountability from these platforms and action to protect their users. You cannot have accountability without transparency, and that's what legal notices like this one are designed to achieve," Grant said.
According to Grant, one in three complaints about online "hate speech" reported in Australia are now related to Twitter – which Musk purchased for $44 billion in October 2022. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO's purchase of the platform reportedly prefaced an increased in "toxicity and hate."
The eSafety commissioner also emphasized that significant staff cuts made by the South African-born tech mogul – including the termination of content moderators, who monitor and remove abusive content – are partly to blame for the rise in online abuse. Moreover, Musk issued a broad amnesty that allowed tens of thousands of previously suspended accounts to return.
"Twitter appears to have dropped the ball on tackling hate," she remarked. "We are also concerned by numerous reports of content remaining widely accessible that is likely in breach of Twitter's own terms of service."
Grant noted that her office is "far from being alone in its concern about increasing levels of toxicity and hate on Twitter, particularly targeting marginalized communities." A report by France 24 added that her ultimatum demands Twitter to present a list of concrete steps showing "what it is doing to prevent online hate on its platform and enforce its own rules."
According to France 24, the Land Down Under has been at the helm of global efforts to regulate social media platforms. It added that this was not the first time Grant, who worked at Microsoft for 17 years prior to becoming the eSafety commissioner, singled out Twitter. In November 2022, she wrote to Musk expressing fears that deep staff cuts would leave Twitter unable to comply with Australian laws.
But looking at Twitter under Musk, there is a high chance it would comply with the 28-day ultimatum set by Grant. A report by Rest of World disclosed that since Musk's takeover, the platform has complied with more government censorship demands. (Related: Twitter yielding to more government CENSORSHIP demands under Musk leadership.)
The outlet looked at the Lumen database of government requests to online platforms, which is operated by Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. The said database revealed that Twitter has received 971 government demands and court orders since Musk purchased it. Of the 971 requests, the social media platform has fully complied with 808 of them – an 83.21 percent compliance rate.
Russel Brandom, U.S. tech editor for Rest of World, said the bulk of the requests to Twitter came from countries that have recently passed restrictive speech laws such as Turkey, India, the United Arab Emirates and Germany. Prior to the Tesla CEO's purchase, the compliance rate was only around 50 percent. Incidentally, his move to comply with censorship requests was a complete about-face from his earlier commitments to free speech.
Musk has abolished many of the departments in charge of processing government documents, which may have reduced Twitter's ability to challenge these orders. At the same time, he has made clear in interviews that his vision of free speech does not extend to legal requests.
"We can't go beyond the laws of a country," he said in an interview with the BBC. "If we have a choice of either our people go to prison or we comply with the laws, we'll comply with the laws."
Visit Censorship.news for more stories about censorship on Twitter.
Watch this Epoch TV report about Musk yielding to the European Union's censorship laws.
This video is from the GalacticStorm channel on Brighteon.com.