Judge Dismisses Lawsuit by Elon Musk’s X Against Nonprofit CCDH on Free Speech Grounds

by | Mar 25, 2024

A federal judge in California has thrown out a lawsuit brought by Elon Musk’s X against the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). In a ruling issued on Monday, the judge stated that the essence of the case revolved around penalizing the Defendants for their speech.

X initiated the lawsuit in July, alleging that CCDH orchestrated a “scare campaign” aimed at deterring advertisers. The company accused CCDH of unauthorized data access and selectively choosing posts to falsely assert that X is inundated with harmful content.

The lawsuit was prompted by studies released by CCDH, a British firm specializing in tracking ‘hate speech’ and online misinformation. These studies revealed a surge in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate speech on X following Musk's assumption of control over the company, previously known as Twitter, in late 2022.

In his ruling, Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California noted that although X asserted that the case centered on breach of contract and unlawful data scraping, it was evident that the underlying issue revolved around speech.

In a particular examination, researchers at CCDH scrutinized 100 distinct premium Twitter Blue accounts and discovered that the platform neglected to take action on 99% of ‘hate speech’ disseminated by those users. Additionally, CCDH revealed that Twitter did not intervene in 89% of instances involving ‘anti-Jewish hate speech’ and 97% of instances involving ‘anti-Muslim hate speech’ on the platform.

X expressed its disagreement with the court's decision in a post from its XNews account, stating that it intends to appeal. Attorneys representing X did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: CNBC



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