Elon Musk’s Twitter, or X now, is threatening to sue the Center for Countering Digital Hate over its recent research into hate speech on the social media platform, alleging that it’s driving advertisers away.
As reported by The New York Times (via The Verge), Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro sent a letter to the non-profit organization on July 20th, saying that it “regularly posts articles making inflammatory, outrageous, and false or misleading assertions” about Twitter in an effort to hurt its business.
The CCDH has published several reports since Musk completed his $44 billion takeover in October, suggesting that the platform fails to safeguard its users from being exposed to hate speech. According to its latest research released last month, the social media company fails to address 99% of hate speech posted by Twitter Blue subscribers.
Specifically mentioning that research in his letter, Spiro said that the organization’s findings “are not supported by anything that could credibly be called research” and aimed to discourage advertisers. He added that Twitter has “reason to believe” that the organization is being funded by Twitter rivals, government entities, and their affiliates.
The lawyer also said that Twitter is exploring how it can take legal action against the CCDH’s “false and misleading claims.”
The CCDH’s lawyer Roberta A. Kaplan sent a letter to Spiro on Monday, saying: ‘’These allegations not only have no basis in fact (your letter states none), but they represent a disturbing effort to intimidate those who have the courage to advocate against incitement, hate speech and harmful content online, to conduct research and analysis regarding the drivers of such disinformation, and to publicly release the findings of that research, even when the findings may be critical of certain platforms.’’
‘’Elon Musk’s legal threat has exposed his true nature,’’ said CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed in a statement. ‘’This action against CCDH proves he is no champion of free speech – but rather a petty tyrant who uses his wealth and power to try and intimidate his critics.”
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the Elon Musk-owned company also threatened to sue Meta over its new microblogging app Threads.