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U.S. Judge Dismisses Elon Musk’s Lawsuit Against Nonprofit Criticizing X’s Handling of Hate Speech

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco ruled in favor of the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in a lawsuit brought by Elon Musk’s X Corp, formerly known as Twitter. The judge stated that Musk’s corporation sued CCDH in retaliation for criticism, demonstrating a concern for public perception and advertiser reactions rather than addressing concerns about data collection methods.

“X Corp has brought this case in order to punish CCDH for CCDH publications that criticized X Corp–and perhaps in order to dissuade others who might wish to engage in such criticism,” Breyer wrote. “It is impossible to read the complaint and not conclude that X Corp is far more concerned about CCDH’s speech than it is its data collection methods,” he added.

In response, X announced its intention to appeal the decision.

The ruling represents a setback for Musk, who has portrayed himself as a proponent of free speech but has faced criticism since acquiring Twitter in October 2022. Critics have accused him of failing to adequately address misinformation and allowing harmful content on the platform.

Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, praised the decision, stating that it reaffirms the group’s ability to hold social media companies accountable. Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for the nonprofit, emphasized that the ruling demonstrates Musk’s inability to manipulate the legal system to his advantage.

Musk and X have faced numerous legal challenges, including allegations of improper behavior toward former Twitter executives and vendors. Tesla, which Musk leads, has also been the subject of lawsuits alleging workplace harassment, which the company has denied.

The lawsuit alleged that CCDH violated its user contract by creating misleading reports accusing Musk of fostering hate speech and misinformation on X. Judge Breyer acknowledged X’s concerns about criticism affecting its business but noted that the nonprofit could not have predicted Musk’s influence when it joined Twitter.

Additionally, Breyer dismissed X’s claims against the European Climate Foundation (ECF), stating that they were unsubstantiated.

Musk himself has faced criticism for his own online behavior, including endorsing antisemitic content on X in November 2023. He has denied allegations of antisemitism and has made efforts to reconcile, including visiting Auschwitz in January.

The case is identified as X Corp v. Center for Countering Digital Hate Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 23-03836. Source –

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