Judge Dismisses Elon Musk’s Lawsuit Against Hate Speech Watchdog Group

FILE - Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., introduces the Model X car at the company's headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in Fremont, Calif. Musk may want to send “tweet” back to the birds, but the ubiquitous term for posting on the site he now calls X is here to stay, at least for now. For one, the word is still plastered all over the website formerly known as Twitter. Write a post, you still need to press a blue button that says “tweet” to publish it. To repost it, you still tap “retweet.” (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

A case brought by Elon Musk, the owner of X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, against a hate-speech watchdog group was dismissed by a federal court in San Francisco on Monday.

In his case against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), Musk alleged that CCDH illegally scraped data from the platform while assembling reports about the spread of hate speech and misinformation online. Musk filed the lawsuit amid pressure from civil society groups over his decision to loosen Twitter’s content moderation rules.

Judge Charles Breyer, in a 52-page decision dismissing the case, argued the lawsuit was based around “punishing” CCDH for their speech.

“Sometimes it is unclear what is driving a litigation, and only by reading between the
lines of a complaint can one attempt to surmise a plaintiff’s true purpose. Other times, a complaint is so unabashedly and vociferously about one thing that there can be no mistaking that purpose. This case represents the latter circumstance. This case is about punishing the Defendants for their speech,” Breyer wrote.

Imran Ahmed, founder and CEO of CCDH, said in a post on X, “This ruling sends a strong message to those who aim at intimidating and silencing independent research.”

The “X News” account posted that the company “disagrees with the court’s decision and plans to appeal.”

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