Elon Musk’s new Australian legal challenge

Embattled billionaire Elon Musk is facing a new legal challenge in Australia after X Corp, formerly known as Twitter, allegedly failed to answer questions about its handling of child abuse material.

Online watchdog eSafety announced Friday that it has begun civil proceedings in federal court against X Corp, which it says failed to report under the Online Safety Act.

The social media giant was issued a transparency notice by regulator eSafety in February, demanding information on how the company met strict legal requirements.

In a statement, eSafety said X Corp allegedly failed to comply with a notice to manage child abuse and exploitation material on Twitter, which has since been renamed X.

“eSafety alleges that X Corp failed to prepare the report in the manner and form specified because it failed to answer or answer truthfully and accurately certain questions in the notice,” it said.

The regulator further alleges that X Corp failed to pay $610,500 in breach notices issued by eSafety in September due to the social media giant's alleged non-compliance.

“X Corp did not pay for the breach notification. It requested judicial review of eSafety's attitude toward transparency notification and service provider notification and breach notification,” eSafety said.

The regulator said it was important that X Corp and other providers were “deterred from failing to comply with statutory notices” and called for a judicial review hearing to be held alongside civil penalty proceedings.

This comes after a tumultuous period for the social media giant since Elon Musk took over. Prior to the purchase, Musk was vocal about the alleged failures of Twitter's management at the time to stop child abuse material.

According to documents filed by eSafety, X Corp allegedly failed to answer – or answered truthfully – four questions about how it met basic online security expectations under Australian law.

Measures under the Online Security Act focus on “systems, policies and processes that service providers can use to prevent harm and respond when harm occurs.”

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