Following its Online Safety Act, the Australian government fined Elon Musk’s failing social network around $380k for failing to respond to information requests from its eSafety commissioner. While all platforms are problematic, Australia finds Xitter to be worse by a long shot.
Musk infamously fired the prior management’s trust and safety teams without replacing them, relying instead on volunteers. That system is not working, and Xitter has also seen the EU get quite upset with its restructured-to-permit-more-hate-speech $44 billion train wreck over a recent rash of misinformation actually spread by Musk.
In a press release, Inman Grant said that X was given 28 days to appeal the decision or pay the approximately $380,000 fine. While the fine seems small, the reputational ding could further hurt X’s chances of persuading advertisers to increase spending on the platform, Reuters suggested. And any failure to comply or respond could trigger even more fines—with X potentially on the hook for as much as $493,402 daily for alleged non-compliance dating back to March 2023, The Guardian reported. That could quickly add up to tens of millions if X misses the Australian regulator’s deadline.
“If they choose not to pay, it’s open to eSafety to take other action or to seek a civil penalty through the courts,” Inman Grant told the Sydney Morning Herald. “We’re talking about some of the most heinous crimes playing out on these platforms, committed against innocent children.”
While eSafety has reported that all the major tech companies—including Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, Snap, Discord, TikTok, Twitch, X, and Google—have “serious shortfalls” when it comes to tackling child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) and grooming, X’s non-compliance “was found to be more serious.”
A few weeks ago a woman reported to be Xitter’s CEO said the whole hate speech thing was going away.