Elon Musk is now suing California over its social media hate speech law

San Francisco, California - Elon Musk's X on Friday sued the state of California over a law requiring social media companies to publicly post their policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, harassment, and extremism.

X owner Elon Musk (l.) is suing the state of California over AB 587, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.
X owner Elon Musk (l.) is suing the state of California over AB 587, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.  © Collage: JOEL SAGET / AFP & JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

X Corp., the parent company of X, formerly known as Twitter, argued in a federal suit that the law referred to as AB 587 violates its free speech rights.

"The true intent of AB 587 is to pressure social media platforms to eliminate certain constitutionally-protected content viewed by the State as problematic," the suit contended.

"The state is compelling social media companies to take public positions on controversial and politically charged issues."

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The suit railed against the law, which requires social media companies to publicly post policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, harassment, and extremism on their platforms, and report data on their enforcement of the policies.

"California will not stand by as social media is weaponized to spread hate and disinformation that threaten our communities and foundational values as a country," California Governor Gavin Newsom said when he signed the bill into law a year ago.

"Californians deserve to know how these platforms are impacting our public discourse, and this action brings much-needed transparency and accountability to the policies that shape the social media content we consume every day."

Musk's takes anti-hate organizations to court

X has been accused of letting hate speech and racism flourish since Elon Musk took over the platform formerly known as Twitter.
X has been accused of letting hate speech and racism flourish since Elon Musk took over the platform formerly known as Twitter.  © STEFANI REYNOLDS / AFP

Musk early this week said he is considering suing the Anti-Defamation League, a leading anti-hate group, arguing that its accusations of antisemitism have led X to lose revenue.

Musk accused the US-based Jewish organization of making unfounded complaints against him and X that have scared away advertisers.

In a 2016 report, the ADL said anti-Semitic attacks against journalists had exploded on Twitter, "thanks to the rhetoric in the 2016 presidential campaign."

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It accused the social network of failing to control its "trolling problem."

Musk has been accused of fueling antisemitic tropes, including attacks against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

Last month, the billionaire also sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate, accusing it of a smear campaign that damaged the social network's relationship with advertisers.

Cover photo: Collage: JOEL SAGET / AFP & JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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