Elon Musk’s X anti-hate group case thrown out

Elon Musk’s X anti-hate group case thrown out

A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Elon Musk’s social media firm X against a group that claims hate speech has increased on the platform since the tech tycoon took over.

X has accused the Center Against Digital Hate (CCDH) of taking “unlawful” steps to access his data.

A US judge dismissed the case and said it was “clear” Mr Musk’s X Corp did not like criticism.

X said he plans to appeal.

Imran Ahmed, CCDH’s founder and chief executive, celebrated the victory, saying Mr Musk had waged a “loud, hypocritical campaign” of harassment and abuse against his organization in an attempt to “avoid taking responsibility for his own decisions”.

“Today’s court affirmed our fundamental right to investigate, speak out, advocate, and hold social media companies accountable,” he said, adding that he hoped the ruling would “embolden” others to “continue and even intensify” similar work.

It was a significant loss for the billionaire, a self-described “absolute master of speech”.

The company, formerly known as Twitter, launched a lawsuit against CCDH in 2023, claiming its researchers had cherry-picked data to create misleading reports about X.

It accused the group of “deliberately and unlawfully” scraping data from X, in violation of its terms of service, to produce its research.

It said the nonprofit group designed a “scare campaign” to drive away advertisers, and it is seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages.

But in his ruling Justice Charles Breyer said Mr Musk was “punishing the defendants for their speech”.

Justice Breyer said X seemed “much more concerned with CCDH’s speech than with its data collection methods”.

He said the company had “brought this case to punish CCDH for … publications criticizing X Corp – and possibly to deter others who might want to engage in such criticism”.

Mr Musk bought the platform in 2022 for $44bn (£34bn) and quickly instituted some controversial changes, dramatically reducing its workforce with deep cuts to the team responsible for content moderation and other areas.

His own post has also been accused of anti-Semitism, an allegation he denies.

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