The parent corporation of the online community previously known as Twitter, X Corp., has followed through with a recent threat to take legal action against a nonprofit (CCDH) whose research has revealed an increase in hate speech on the social media platform, claiming that the organization has “embarked on a scare campaign to drive away advertisers.” The lawsuit was filed a day after the Center for Countering Digital Hate made public a piece of correspondence sent by X on July 20 threatening to sue the NGO.
What did CCDH say about Twitter’s hate speech levels that caused a lawsuit from Musk?
The lawsuit was filed a day after CCDH publicly published a letter penned on July 20 by Alex Spiro, a lawyer for X, threatening legal action over research the group disclosed last month – analyzing posts that include content which violates Twitter’s regulations. It discovered that X “fails to act on 99% of hate posted by Twitter Blue subscribers,” stating that the business allows them to violate its rules “with impunity and is even algorithmically boosting their toxic tweets.”
Musk, along with firms that continue running ads on X, was blamed for the noticeable spike in hate speech on the network. CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed also recently pointed out in a statement in response to Elon’s lawsuit that the X Corp. owner is “showing he will stop at nothing to silence anyone who criticizes him for his own decisions and actions.”
“[Research] shows that hate and disinformation is spreading like wildfire on the platform under Musk’s ownership and this lawsuit is a direct attempt to silence those efforts. People don’t want to see or be associated with hate, antisemitism, and the dangerous content that we all see proliferating on X.”CEO of CCDH, Imran Ahmed
Why is X Corp. suing CCDH?
Interestingly, the company did not respond to CCDH’s claims of increasing hate speech (which it could have by claiming the violation of the Lanham Act which allows companies to sue for false narratives), but is instead suing the NGO directly for “illegally obtaining the data that was used to conduct its research.” The Center for Countering Digital Hate has been accused of breaking X’s terms of service with this action in the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in California on Tuesday. The complaint states that CCDH apparently “convinced an unknown third party — in violation of that third party’s contractual obligations — to improperly share login credentials to a secured database that CCDH then accessed, and retrieved information from, on multiple occasions without authorization.”
X blames CCDH for corporations halting advertising on the site. It is suing for tens of millions of dollars in lost ad revenue as well as a court order prohibiting the organization and unnamed associates from utilizing licensed material supplied by the company for breach of contract, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and intentional interference with contractual relations.