Elon Musk’s X Sues Nonprofit That Accused It of Allowing Hate Speech

Elon Musk’s social-media company is suing a nonprofit that has accused the platform of allowing the proliferation of hate speech, escalating a continuing clash between the billionaire and the research group.

X Corp., formerly Twitter, alleges in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court that the group, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, prepares its research using flawed methodologies to censor viewpoints it disagrees with.

The center didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit. The group has previously defended its research and accused Musk of trying to silence it.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate has published several pieces of research that have been critical of Musk’s social-media company. One study published in June said Twitter had taken no action against 99% of 100 posts that the researchers said contained hateful content.

Musk’s company has disputed the group’s research. Alex Spiro, a lawyer for X Corp., sent a letter to the center dated July 20, accusing it of making “a series of troubling and baseless claims that appear calculated to harm Twitter generally, and its digital advertising business specifically.” In the letter, Spiro said the company was considering legal action.

In the lawsuit, Musk’s company accuses the Center for Countering Digital Hate of improperly accessing data from X’s platform by scraping and by improperly obtaining login credentials to a database operated by a vendor. The suit seeks a jury trial, monetary damages and a prohibition on the group and its employees accessing certain data related to the X platform.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate called the letter an attempt to intimidate them.

“Musk is targeting CCDH because we reveal the truth about the spread of hate and disinformation on Twitter under his ownership, and it’s impacting his bottom line,” said Imran Ahmed, the group’s chief executive, in a statement.

The social-media company has been facing challenges including a heavy debt load and a drop in advertising following Musk’s $44 billion acquisition late last year. Many advertisers pulled back from the platform after Musk’s takeover, in part because of concerns about his approach to content moderation.

Advertising revenue dropped roughly 50% and the company has negative cash flow, Musk said in a July tweet.


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