Elon Musk is suing a nonprofit over claims about hate speech on X

San Francisco, California - Elon Musk's X, formerly known as Twitter, is suing a nonprofit group in US federal court over reports that hate speech has flourished on the platform.

X owner Elon Musk is suing the Center for Countering Digital Hate over claims that the platform has seen an increase in hate speech since his takeover.
X owner Elon Musk is suing the Center for Countering Digital Hate over claims that the platform has seen an increase in hate speech since his takeover.  © Collage: Center for Countering Digital Hate & Alain JOCARD / AFP

Elon Musk-owned X accused the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) of generating "flawed" studies that have cost the tycoon's tech firm tens of millions of dollars, a copy of the lawsuit showed.

However, the legal basis outlined in the suit filed in San Francisco late Monday was an accusation that the nonprofit violated X's terms of service in the way it accessed data for its reports.

CCDH chief executive Imran Ahmed on Tuesday contended that Musk's legal move is an effort to silence critics that comes "straight out of the authoritarian playbook."

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Ahmed stood by the group's research, saying it shows that hate and disinformation are "spreading like wildfire" at Musk-run X.

The eccentric billionaire's lawsuit asks a court to grant X unspecified cash damages and to order CCDH to stop the way it has been getting data for its reports.

Musk "will not bully" organization into silence

The suit accuses CCDH and its parent organization in Britain of being "activist organizations masquerading as research agencies."

X goes on to argue in the suit that the nonprofit improperly gained access to data so it could "cherry-pick" information to back reports showing the rebranded Twitter is rife with harmful content.

"Musk is trying to shoot the messenger who highlights the toxic content on his platform rather than deal with the toxic environment he's created," Ahmed said in a statement.

"Musk will not bully us into silence."

Cover photo: Collage: Center for Countering Digital Hate & Alain JOCARD / AFP

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