X Corp sues anti-hate campaigners over Twitter research
X Corp has accused the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which has offices in the US and UK, of “unlawful acts” to obtain its data.
According to CCDH, Elon Musk is trying to silence anyone who criticizes X Corp.
Musk has previously called himself an “absolutist of free speech”.
As a non-profit organization, CCDH researches and campaigns against online hate. Reports by the organization have been widely cited in the press, including by the BBC. Damian Collins is a Conservative MP who serves on the UK board of directors.
In a statement, Imran Ahmed, chief executive of CCDH, said Musk’s latest legal threat is straight out of the authoritarian playbook.
Ahmed claimed that the platform under Musk’s ownership was “spreading hate and disinformation like wildfire”.
“Shoot the messenger” was his charge against X Corp’s boss.
Following a fiery exchange of legal letters – one from X Corp lawyer Alex Spiro, threatening legal action, and another from CCDH’s US attorney Roberta Kaplan, the Tlegal case was announced.
According to the case filed by a different law firm on Monday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Mr Spiro’s letter focused on alleged inaccuracies in CCDH research, which was denied by the organisation.
As a result of the centre’s critical reports, X Corp claims that it lost tens of millions in advertising revenues and seeks damages against the not-for-profit organization.
If the identities of the CCDH’s backers are discovered, it also proposes amending the case to name them.
Twitter has been criticized in a number of CCDH reports. According to a report, heavily criticized in the legal letter from Mr Spiro, Twitter fails to act on 99% of hateful messages from Twitter Blue accounts.
CCDH’s research and methodology are criticized in the complaint. In order to produce its research, the organization “intentionally and unlawfully” scraped data from X.
CCDH also claims to have acquired “unauthorised” access to X’s data through a social media monitoring tool called Brandwatch.
According to the lawsuit, Brandwatch login information was improperly shared with CCDH by an unnamed third party.
We have contacted Brandwatch for comment.
According to allegations, the CCDH also censored contrary viewpoints on Covid-19 vaccines, reproductive healthcare, and climate change with which it disagreed.
“Several companies that continued to advertise on X immediately ceased spending on advertising on X”, according to the case.