Australia drops case against Elon Musk's X over church attack video

The attack was captured on video during the livestream.

Australia has dropped its case against X, formerly Twitter, after a row about removing footage of a stabbing attack on a priest in Sydney. 

The country's eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman-Granthad, had threatened fines against X if it did not remove graphic footage of the stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel.

The bishop survived the stabbing in April which happened in Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, Sydney, while he was livestreaming a sermon. 

As footage circulated on X, the Federal Court ordered that it be hidden. The social media platform initially refused to comply before later hiding the video to Australian X users. 

Inman-Grant said the decision to discontinue her legal battle with X had been made after weighing "multiple considerations" and that this outcome would "likely achieve the most positive outcome for the online safety of all Australians, especially children".

"Our sole goal and focus in issuing our removal notice was to prevent this extremely violent footage from going viral, potentially inciting further violence and inflicting more harm on the Australian community. I stand by my investigators and the decisions eSafety made," she said. 

X welcomed the news saying it was "heartened to see that freedom of speech has prevailed". 

Musk later responded personally in a post on X saying, "Freedom of speech is worth fighting for."