Fake images are misinformation, Anthony Albanese claims Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese © Getty Images / Pool / Pool

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has once again lashed out at social media, insisting the platforms should be accountable for the content that its users post.

The PM’s remarks come in the wake of a spat with tech billionaire Elon Musk over the reluctance on the part of the Tesla and Space X tycoon to remove from his platform, X (formerly Twitter), recently filmed footage of the stabbing of a cleric.

“Social media platforms have a responsibility to make sure that misinformation isn’t got out there,” Albanese told reporters on Wednesday. “I noticed today, for example, on the way up here, they’ve removed various sites that were up containing fake images of myself superimposed on other people,” the PM stated.

“Social media has a responsibility to do the right thing here,” Albanese reiterated.

On Wednesday, the country’s Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Birmingham called on social media companies to use their “immense technological power” to remove violent content from their platforms.

The Australian government has been pushing forward a so-called misinformation bill, released as a draft last year. The new law would empower the Australian Communications and Media Authority to require online platforms to address content considered “false, misleading or deceptive, and where the provision of that content on the service is reasonably likely to cause or contribute to serious harm.”

The bill was later withdrawn by the communications minister, Michelle Rowland, who promised “refinements,” including additional protections for freedom of speech, greater transparency, and “improved workability.”

However, following the recent Sydney stabbings, Rowland indicated the bill would resurface. The government is yet to outline changes to the initial bill it will introduce to parliament.

Musk takes on Australia over stabbing video Musk takes on Australia over stabbing video

The news has been met with opposition. “The PM has caused more division by shamelessly tying a violent video to his agenda to outlaw some types of speech. The basic principle is, if you don’t trust politicians, don’t give them the power to tell you what you can say,” National Party Senator Matt Canavan told Guardian Australia.

He also claimed that the Albanese government was “struggling” due to the Prime Minister’s belief that the “biggest issue” in the country is misinformation.

Musk mocked Albanese’s social media crackdown hours after his platform was again ordered to remove the content, which features last week’s non-fatal knife attack on an Assyrian bishop in a suburb of Sydney, and to remove it for users worldwide.

Musk said the Australian court’s ruling to take down the footage meant that any country could control “the entire internet.” He also used a meme depicting a Wizard of Oz-style path to “freedom” leading to an X logo.

Albanese, in turn, labeled Musk an “arrogant billionaire who thinks he’s above the law, but also above common decency.” (RT)