Online hate watchdog moves to dismiss lawsuit from Elon Musk
Elon Musk’s X is being sued by a group of nonprofit online watchdogs over its alleged harassment on the social media platform.
Twitter’s parent company, X Corp., has accused the Center for Countering Digital Hate of deliberately trying to drive away its advertisers by publishing reports critical of its response to hateful content. As part of X’s lawsuit, CCDH is accused of violating Twitter’s terms of service and federal hacking laws by scraping data from the company’s platform and by encouraging an unnamed individual to improperly collect information about Twitter, which the company had provided to a third-party brand monitor.
According to its Thursday filing in the Northern District Court of California, CCDH claims that X’s lawsuit is “riddled with legal deficiencies” and seeks to punish the nonprofit for exercising First Amendment rights.
X Corp.’s main grievance is not that CCDH Defendants gathered public data in violation of obscure (and mostly imagined) contract terms, but rather that they criticized X Corp. (forcefully).
On Thursday, CCDH filed a lawsuit against X. The company and its lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The social media platform was acquired by Musk just over a year ago, and CCDH — along with other researchers and online safety groups — released a series of reports criticizing how the company handled hate speech after the acquisition. Musk’s leadership, for example, has led to the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric as well as the monetization of some previously banned accounts that were reactivated after being banned.
The company said the lawsuit was meant to promote free expression and “rejects all claims made by the CCDH” in a blog post.