Words: Dylan Murphy
Yesterday, the owner of X (Formerly Twitter) warned against laws that curb free speech.
In an interview on Spaces on X, Elon Musk said he would fund challenges to Irish hate speech legislation. Speaking to Gript Media Musk said, “Our European headquarters are in Ireland. We have a big office in Ireland, a major presence in Ireland so we obviously have standing. Also, we will fund the legal fees of Irish citizens that want to challenge the bill as well. We’ll make sure if there is an attempt to suppress the voice of the Irish people that we do our absolute best to defend the people of Ireland their ability to speak their mind.”
Last year, Gript Media came under fire for running a story that the “person of interest” to gardaí following an attack in Parnell Square in November was an Algerian national. Though they did not name the man, they published details outlining his immigration history. They removed the post after the Garda contacted Gript saying the person they shared online had no connection with the attack. Gript’s post resulted in the man’s name being revealed on social media and he was given protection by the gardaí for a short time after.
Musk has previously criticised plans for hate legislation in Ireland.
It comes after Minister Helen McEntee confirmed a new timeline for the legislation following on from riots in Dublin during November. announced a change in approach to the Incitement to Hatred and Hate Crime Bill in 2022, which was intended to be introduced at the end of that year. Its intention is to make it easier to convict attacks aimed at minority groups.
The new legislation intends to create more extensive versions of existing offences, including violence motivated by the “protected characteristic” of the victim as a crime. Race, colour, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity and disability all come under the protected characteristics category.
Elsewhere on District: Inside The Telegram Groups Fuelling Anti-Immigrant Sentiment.