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Elon Musk’s X has confirmed it will support a Canadian physician who faced legal battles for voicing her opinions on the COVID-19 pandemic Wikimedia Commons

The word on the street is that Elon Musk-owned social media platform, X, is funding the legal bills for a Canadian doctor who regulators previously criticised for her tweets about COVID-19.

On Sunday, X News declared its support for Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill. The X post stated that the company would "defend" her against alleged "government-supported efforts" to silence her regarding her views on COVID-19.

Dr. Gill, an immunologist and pediatrician, faced controversy for publicly opposing Canadian and Ontario COVID lockdowns and vaccine mandates on X, formerly Twitter. Her vocal stance led to media criticism, social media censorship, and investigations by the CPSO, resulting in official reprimands on her record.

Exhausted from legal battles over her COVID stances, Dr. Gill faced a looming $300,000 (£238053) court judgment. Her crowdfunding plea on GiveSendGo for financial aid unexpectedly gained the attention of billionaire Elon Musk.

Citing the importance of free speech, Musk earlier this week expressed support for Dr. Gill's fundraising efforts. Now, his company, X, has stepped in to cover the remaining legal burden of her $300,000 (£238053).

Taking to X, Dr. Gill expressed gratitude for Musk's pledge to cover her remaining legal costs and fight the 2021 reprimands from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). This follows her earlier plea on the platform, tagging the 52-year-old business magnate for assistance with the looming $300,000 (£238053) judgment.

The price of free speech: Dr. Gill's case sparks debate

In a statement, X highlighted free speech as a critical element of a healthy democracy and a weapon against totalitarian regimes.

"Free speech is the bedrock of democracy and a critical defense against totalitarianism in all forms," the statement read. "We must do whatever we can to protect it, and at X, we will always fight to protect your right to speak freely," the company said.

Dr. Gill's case triggered debates about free speech and the potential dangers of silencing dissent, even when it opposes popular opinion or government actions. By funding Dr. Gill's case, X underscores its commitment to free speech.

The platform aspires to be a space for open exchange of ideas, even those challenging the norm, without censorship or retaliation. The company believes this will foster a more prosperous and dynamic public discourse.

This isn't Musk's first free speech foray. Earlier this month, he pledged to support actress Gina Carano's lawsuit against Disney following her firing over social media posts. While Musk's platform is taking a strong stance on free speech by supporting Dr. Gill, it faces another challenge: attracting creators.

X is struggling to attract creators

Just two months after acquiring Twitter, Musk met with a group of content creators via video call, seeking their input on improvements for the platform. The Tesla boss also inquired about strategies that make YouTube appealing to creators.

Podcaster Samir Chaudry highlighted YouTube's well-developed system for monetisation via advertising revenue, which he emphasised is a key factor in attracting creators. More than a year after his meeting with Musk, Chaudry believes X's strategy for creators is still shrouded in mystery.

"They have to start showing us the path to building a business on the platform," he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, a report suggests Musk is developing ambitious monetization strategies for X, aiming to compete directly with live-streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch.