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Elon Musk reinstates Alex Jones on X after five-year ban

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4 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Andreas Wailzer

70% of participants in an X poll voted in favor of bringing the eccentric political commentator back to the platform.

Alex Jones has been reinstated on X, formerly Twitter. 

On Sunday, December 10, Jones’ X account was reinstated after Elon Musk ran a poll in which 70% voted in favor of bringing the eccentric political commentator back to the platform. 

Musk’s decision came shortly after Tucker Carlson published an interview with Jones that garnered over 15 million views on X. In the conversation with Carlson, Jones warned about a globalist plan of “designed global collapse.” Musk has frequently watched and commented on Carlson’s show Tucker on X before.  

On Monday, X also reinstated the account of Jones’ show InfoWars, as well as Jonathan Owen Shroyer, the host of the War Room show on InfoWars. 

Jones was banned from Twitter in September 2018, shortly after being de-platformed in a coordinated effort by several other big tech platforms, including his YouTube channel with around 2.5 million subscribers, due to “hate speech.” 

On Sunday, Mario Nawfal hosted a live discussion (“XTownHall”) on X that featured Jones, Musk, and many other prominent figures, such as influencer Andrew Tate, GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, and political commentator Jack Posobiec. 

The discussion, which lasted over two hours and was viewed by more than eight million users, covered a wide range of issues, including online censorship, globalism, de-population, and the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

Musk and Jones agreed that there is a globalist plan to de-populate the world and that it is crucial to counter this agenda by having more children. 

During the discussion, Jones praised Musk for standing up for free speech by acquiring Twitter and reinstating banned accounts. “You are literally changing the entire paradigm…you definitely got the system scared,” Jones told the tech billionaire. 

Later in the discussion, Posobiec asked Musk what he would do if intelligence agencies like the FBI or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approached X with censorship requests as they did in the past before Musk acquired the platform.  

Musk affirmed his commitment to free speech, saying he plans to allow legal content to remain on the platform. He furthermore stated that he would be willing to go to jail if he thought a government agency was breaking the law with their censorship requests. 

“We will be as transparent as possible…and frankly if I think that a government agency is breaking the law in their demands on the platform, I would be prepared to go to prison personally if I think they are the ones breaking the law.” 

Addressing the globalist WEF meeting in Davos, Musk said that some video clips he had seen from the events were “concerning,” and referred to the WEF as an “unelected world government.”  

“I don’t think we should have an unelected, quasi-governmental organization deciding our future,” he said. 

“I’m not okay with some organization that I didn’t vote for controlling my destiny or that of other people.”  

“I think an unelected world government is not a good idea,” the tech mogul concluded. 

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Aussies Back Down on Blocking ‘X’ Crime Video

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From Heartland Daily News

By J.D. Tuccille

Aussies back down on blocking ‘X’ video of a crime after realizing they would have to censor the world.

In a welcome development for people who care about liberty, Australia’s government suspended its efforts to censor the planet. The country’s officials suffered pushback from X (formerly Twitter) and condemnation by free speech advocates after attempting to block anybody, anywhere from seeing video of an attack at a Sydney church. At least for the moment, they’ve conceded defeat based, in part, on recognition that X is protected by American law, making censorship efforts unenforceable.

“I have decided to discontinue the proceedings in the Federal Court against X Corp in relation to the matter of extreme violent material depicting the real-life graphic stabbing of a religious leader at Wakeley in Sydney on 15 April 2024,” the office of Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, announced last week. “We now welcome the opportunity for a thorough and independent merits review of my decision to issue a removal notice to X Corp by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.”

The free speech battle stems from the stabbing in April of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and Father Isaac Royel at an Orthodox Christian Church by a 16-year-old in what is being treated as an Islamist terrorist incident. Both victims recovered, but Australian officials quickly sought to scrub graphic video footage of the incident from the internet. Most social media platforms complied, including X, which geoblocked access to video of the attack from Australia pending an appeal of the order.

But Australian officials fretted that their countrymen might use virtual private networks (VPNs) to evade the blocks. The only solution, they insisted, was to suppress access to the video for the whole world. X understandably pushed back out of fear of the precedent that would set for the globe’s control freaks.

Global Content Battle

“Our concern is that if ANY country is allowed to censor content for ALL countries, which is what the Australian ‘eSafety Commissar’ is demanding, then what is to stop any country from controlling the entire Internet?” responded X owner Elon Musk.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also argued that “no single country should be able to restrict speech across the entire internet” as did the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). The organizations jointly sought, and received, intervener status in the case based on “the capacity for many global internet users to be substantially affected.”

In short, officials lost control over a tussle they tried to portray as a righteous battle by servants of the people against, in the words of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, “arrogant billionaire” Elon Musk. Instead, civil libertarians correctly saw it as a battle for free speech against grasping politicians who aren’t content to misgovern their own country but reach for control over people outside their borders.

Worse for them, one of their own judges agreed.

“The removal notice would govern (and subject to punitive consequences under Australian law) the activities of a foreign corporation in the United States (where X Corp’s corporate decision-making occurs) and every country where its servers are located; and it would likewise govern the relationships between that corporation and its users everywhere in the world,” noted Justice Geoffrey Kennett in May as he considered the eSafety commissioner’s application to extend an injunction against access to the stabbing video. “The Commissioner, exercising her power under s 109, would be deciding what users of social media services throughout the world were allowed to see on those services.”

He added, “most likely, the notice would be ignored or disparaged in other countries.”

American Speech Protections Shield the World

This is where the U.S. First Amendment and America’s strong protections for free speech come into play to thwart Australian officials’ efforts to censor the world.

“There is uncontroversial expert evidence that a court in the US (where X Corp is based) would be highly unlikely to enforce a final injunction of the kind sought by the Commissioner,” added Kennett. “Courts rightly hesitate to make orders that cannot be enforced, as it has the potential to bring the administration of justice into disrepute.”

Rather than have his government exposed as impotently overreaching to impose its will beyond its borders, Kennett refused to extend the injunction.

Three weeks later, with free speech groups joining the case to argue against eSafety’s censorious ambitions, the agency dropped its legal case pending review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

“We are pleased that the Commissioner saw the error in her efforts and dropped the action,” responded David Greene and Hudson Hongo for EFF. “Global takedown orders threaten freedom of expression around the world, create conflicting legal obligations, and lead to the lowest common denominator of internet content being available around the world, allowing the least tolerant legal system to determine what we all are able to read and distribute online.”

But if the world escaped the grasp of Australia’s censors, the country’s residents may not be so lucky.

Domestic Censorship Politics

The fight between eSafety and X “isn’t actually about the Wakeley church stabbing attacks in April — it’s about how much power the government ultimately hands the commissioner once it’s finished reviewing the Online Safety Act in October,” Ange Lavoipierre wrote for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“The video in dispute in the case against X has been used, in my opinion, as a vehicle for the federal government to push for powers to compel social media companies to enforce rules of misinformation and disinformation on their platforms,” agrees Morgan Begg of the free-market Institute of Public Affairs, which opposes intrusive government efforts to regulate online content. “The Federal Court’s decision highlights the government’s fixation with censorship.”

That is, the campaign to force X to suppress video of one crime is largely about domestic political maneuvering for power. But it comes as governments around the world—especially that of the European Union—become increasingly aggressive with their plans to control online speech.

If the battle between Australia’s eSafety commissioner and X is any indication, the strongest barrier to international censorship lies in countries—the U.S. in particular—that vigorously protect free speech. From such safe havens, authoritarian officials and their grasping content controls can properly be “ignored or disparaged.”

Originally published by the Reason Foundation. Republished with permission.

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Trudeau’s Online News Act has crushed hundreds of local Canadian news outlets: study

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Trudeau’s Online News Act, framed as a way to support local media, has hurt small media outlets while giving massive payouts to legacy media, a study has found.

According to a new study, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Online News Act has successfully crushed local media outlets while mainstream media has remained relatively unaffected.  

According to an April study from the Media Ecosystem Observatory, Trudeau’s Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, has caused a 84 percent drop in engagement for local Canadian outlets, as Big Tech company Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – has refused to publish links to Canadian news outlets on their platforms.  

“We lost 70 per cent of our audience when that happened,” Iain Burns, the managing editor of Now Media Group, which manages news posts for outlets serving smaller communities, revealed. He further explained that he experienced a 50 percent loss in revenue following the move. 

“We’re not the only ones. Many, many outlets are in this situation,” Burns added.

The Online News Act, passed by the Senate in June 2023, mandates that Big Tech companies pay to publish Canadian content on their platforms. While the legislation promised to support local media, it has seemingly accomplished the opposite.  

While Meta has blocked all news on its platforms, devastating small publishers, Google agreed to pay Canadian legacy media outlets $100 million to publish their content online. 

The study, a collaboration between the University of Toronto and McGill University, examined the 987 Facebook pages of Canadian news outlets, 183 personal pages of politicians, commentators and advocacy groups, and 589 political and local community groups.  

“The ban undoubtedly had a major impact on Canadian news,” the study found.  

“Local news outlets have been particularly affected by the ban: while large, national news outlets were less reliant on Facebook for visibility and able to recoup some of their Facebook engagement regardless, hundreds of local news outlets have left the platform entirely, effectively gutting the visibility of local news content,” it explained.   

However, LifeSiteNews has been relatively unaffected by the ban as viewership on its official Facebook page has remained relatively the same, similar to its Instagram account since most views already came from the United States.  

Similarly unaffected was Meta: “We find little evidence that Facebook usage has been impacted by the ban.”  

“After the ban took effect, the collapse of Canadian news content production and engagement on Facebook did not appear to substantially affect users themselves,” the study said.  

While local media outlets’ viewership has declined thanks to Trudeau’s new legislation, larger media outlets have thrived due to increased payouts from the Trudeau government.  

Legacy media journalists are projected to have roughly half of their salaries paid by the Liberal government after the $100 million Google agreement and the subsidies outlined in the Fall Economic Statement.  

Mainstream Canadian media had already received massive federal payouts, but they have nearly doubled after Trudeau announced increased subsidies for legacy media outlets ahead of the 2025 election. The subsidies are expected to cost taxpayers $129 million over the next five years.   

However, just as government payouts increase, Canadians’ trust in mainstream media has decreased. Recent polling found that only one-third of Canadians consider mainstream media trustworthy and balanced.   

Similarly, a recent study by Canada’s Public Health Agency revealed that less than a third of Canadians displayed “high trust” in the federal government, with “large media organizations” as well as celebrities getting even lower scores.  

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