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Gab refuses to remove Bishop stabbing video despite fine threat from Australia’s censorship commissar


American social media platform Gab has refused to comply with a removal notice sent by Australia’s censorship chief threatening a fine of $782,500 if it does not take down a video of the alleged terrorist stabbing of a Sydney bishop.

Gab CEO Andrew Torba revealed on Wednesday that the office of Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, had issued a takedown order and fine threat over a post containing footage of the alleged attack on Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel last month.

“As a platform committed to free speech principles, Gab refused to comply with the censorship demands of the Australian government. We believe that the right to free speech is fundamental and are determined to stand up against any attempts to suppress it,” Mr Torba said in an article posted to Gab News.

“The Australian government’s threat to Gab is a clear violation of our users’ freedom of speech.”

Australian Government Threatens Gab With Fine For Refusing To Censor Video
(Gab News)
Australian Government Threatens Gab With Fine For Refusing To Censor Video
(Gab News)

Mr Torba said Gab responded to Ms Inman Grant’s office with the following statement:

“We refuse to succumb to the pressure of the Australian government and will not censor the video posted by our user. We stand by our commitment to free speech and support the Assyrian Christ The Good Shepherd Church in their time of need. We encourage our users to share their thoughts, prayers, and support for Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and the entire congregation affected by this tragedy.

“Gab was founded in 2016 as an alternative to mainstream social media platforms that are known for their overly censorious and biased policies against conservative viewpoints. We believe in providing a platform where users can express themselves freely within the bounds of American law. Our leadership style is characterized by vocal advocacy for free speech and a staunch opposition to Silicon Valley’s monopolistic control over online discourse.”

Gab CEO Andrew Torba

Ms Inman Grant, an unelected American-born bureaucrat on a yearly salary of $445,000, also ordered Meta and X to take down videos of the alleged stabbing after Australian politicians claimed the footage was a danger to social cohesion.

Both she and Meta have claimed that Facebook complied with the removal notice, although a version of the stabbing popped up as the first result when tested by Noticer News.

X owner Elon Musk hid the videos for Australian users pending a legal challenge, saying he intends to fight the removal notice on the grounds that it would allow the governments of individual countries to dictate what content is allowed for global social media users.

“Our concern is that if ANY country is allowed to censor content for ALL countries… then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire Internet?” he wrote on X.

X is also challenging a takedown notice from Inman Grant relating to a post by Canadian activist Billboard Chris, calling influential female World Health Organisation policymaker a woman.

Billboard Chris has mounted his own legal challenge to the removal in Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

In his first sermon after the alleged attack Bishop Emmanuel himself said he did not want the video censored, and stressed the importance of freedom of speech.


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