Elon Musk and his newly named social media company are reportedly suing the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in light of its research into the platform's proliferation of hate speech.
There has been no shortage of drama since Musk took over Twitter in October 2022. The company has seen controversy around virtually every corner, eliciting everything from employee resignations to full-on legal action from city officials.
This lawsuit, however, takes it up a notch, with Musk and his company launching an attack on an seemingly independent, unbiased research organization because it had a bad thing to say about the direction of the social media platform.
X Sues Center for Countering Digital Hate
In a lawsuit filed this week, X Corp is apparently suing the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) for publishing research that points to the toxicity of the X/Twitter platform. The language of the lawsuit is nothing if not a bit dramatic and paints a troubling picture for the social media platform in turmoil.
“The Center for Countering Digital Hate — an activist organization masquerading as a research agency, funded, and supported by unknown organizations, individuals, and potentially even foreign governments with ties to legacy media companies — have embarked on a scare campaign to drive away advertisers from the X platform.” – the X lawsuit against the CCDH
X hasn't appeared to need any help driving away advertisers, with the company continuing to hemorrhage partners interested in selling products on the platform.
Beyond that, though, the lawsuit is nothing if not frivolous. By all accounts, the CCDH is an unbiased, independent non-profit that almost exclusively works to ensure the internet is safer, more wholesome place for everyone online.
The Case Against X (Twitter)
So, what is X (Twitter) actually suing the CCDH for? Well, since Musk's takeover, the non-profit organization has released a treasure trove of research showing that the platform is doing much worse than usual when it came to combating hate speech.
More specifically, the CCDH noted that X had reinstated accounts from a wide range of Nazi, white supremacist, misogynist, and conspiracy theorists to the platform after previously receiving lifelong bans.
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That's not all, though. Research from the CCDH in June found that the company “fails to act on 99% of hate posted by Twitter Blue subscribers,” implying that the company was cosigning hate speech for the price of $7.99 per month.
Musk: A Free Speech Absolutist?
During his rocky takeover of Twitter, Elon Musk noted on multiple occasions that he was a “free speech absolutist.” At least, that was the reason he gave for unleashing scores of accounts on the platform that had been previously banned for hate speech and disinformation.
Now, however, the controversial CEO seems to be taking extraordinary measures to silence his dissenters, and many in the industry are concerned that it could be a slippery slope.
“Elon Musk's latest legal threat is straight out of the authoritarian playbook – he is now showing he will stop at nothing to silence anyone who criticizes him.” – Imran Ahmed, CEO of CCDH
Admittedly, Musk hasn't been making a lot of good decisions since taking over Twitter. But this lawsuit could be significantly worse than just putting a big flashing X on the top of an office building in the middle of San Francisco.