Victorian senator shares violent banned footage of church terror

Albanese takes aim at Musk

Source: Network Ten

An Australian senator has reposted graphic footage of the alleged terror attack at a Sydney church, with an incendiary message to the Albanese government.

Amid an escalating international row over the footage being shared on X – and its interim ban from social media channels in Australia – Senator Ralph Babet posted it on Tuesday morning.

“To the Australian government and the eSafety commissioner, go f— yourselves,” he captioned his tweet.

Late on Monday the Federal Court ordered X to block all users from violent footage related to the alleged terror attack by a 16-year-old boy at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in western Sydney on April 15.

The platform’s billionaire owner, Elon Musk, and his company have raised free speech and jurisdictional concerns to dispute the rulings.

Despite the court orders, footage of a boy repeatedly stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at the Assyrian church in Wakeley could still be easily found on X on Monday night.

ralph babet

The footage was posted to Babet’s X page on Tuesday. Image: X screenshot

It is not known where Babet got his version from.

The United Australia Party’s lone senator is known for his controversial views.

Before his election in 2022, he ran on an anti-big government platform, criticising Victoria’s Covid-19 lockdowns and attacking the media for being alarmist on his social media page.

The Victorian senator has also regularly shared posts suggesting that international organisations such as the World Economic Forum and “global elites” are cracking down on free speech and had “toyed with ideas of global surveillance on a level not even conceived by Orwell”.

Babet has more than 29,000 followers on X and has built his social media following while warning of Australia’s gradual enslavement by a tyrannical world government.

He reposted the clip later on Tuesday, included in a six-minute video monologue criticising the government’s response to the church attack.

“This opinion piece contains the video that the Australian government has gone to the Federal Court to have removed. I WILL NOT REMOVE IT,” he wrote.

“Without free speech our nation will fall. The Liberal Party, the Labor Party and the eSafety commissioner are a threat to democracy.”

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland blasted his actions.

“The Albanese government supports efforts by the eSafety Commissioner to have this content removed from digital platforms in Australia. This is appalling behaviour by a serving senator and he needs to explain why he’s sharing this harmful content,” she said in a statement to The Guardian.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Senator Babet was an “attention-seeking git”.

“It shows a total lack of respect for the victims, a total lack of respect for our law enforcement, our emergency people,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“The parliament will have to respond … and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see a censure.”

There are bipartisan calls for harsher sanctions for social media platforms after the widespread circulation of the distressing footage.

Graphic footage of a man rampaging through Sydney’s Bondi Junction shopping centre just days earlier, killing six people, has also spread online.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has branded Musk “arrogant” after he appeared to thumb his nose at the eSafety Commissioner’s court bid to have the video removed.

“We’ll do what’s necessary to take on this arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency,” Albanese told ABC television on Monday.

“What the eSafety Commissioner is doing is doing her job to protect the interests of Australians.

“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 with it. Mr Musk is not showing any.”

Other social media companies had complied with the eSafety Commissioner’s requests without complaint, Albanese said.

“But this bloke thinks he’s above the Australian law, that he’s above common decency,” he told Sky News.

“No one is above the law, not Elon Musk, not any Australian citizen when it comes to operating here in Australia.”

The eSafety Commissioner complained to the Federal Court that the “graphic and violent” footage had been geo-blocked by X for Australian audiences, instead of being taken down globally.

Over the weekend X, formerly known as Twitter, said it had complied with removal orders but argued against a global takedown, saying the commissioner had no authority.

In the Federal Court on Monday, the commissioner urgently applied to suppress the footage on specific URLs.

The fact an Australian user could access the content via an overseas virtual private network showed it had not been removed, the commissioner’s lawyer Christopher Tran told the court.

The Federal Court agreed to an interim suppression that shielded the material from all users. A further hearing is due on Wednesday.

Musk has positioned X against Australian criticism as a free speech victory and censorship champion.

-with AAP

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