April 13, 2024

Elon Musk

Image: Slaven Vlasic (Getty Images)

A federal judge in California on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by Elon Musk’s social media platform X. The lawsuit was brought against the non-profit, anti-hate speech group Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said it was “evident” that the lawsuit was filed to punish CCDH.

The group published a series of research articles last year that claimed that hate speech on the social network was on the rise since Musk took over the company in 2022 and that it even profited from accounts that promoted such speech.

X, formerly known as Twitter, filed the lawsuit in July accusing CCDH of violating its terms of service and unlawfully accessing data. The lawsuit went on to allege that the group cherry-picked posts for a “scare campaign” that resulted in the platform losing tens of million of dollars in advertising revenue.

In July, Elon Musk claimed advertising revenue at the company dropped 50%.

“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,” Breyer said in his ruling. “This case represents the latter circumstance. This case is about punishing the defendants for their speech.”

In a post on the platform, X said that it plans to appeal the decision.

“The courts today have affirmed our fundamental right to research, to speak, to advocate, and to hold accountable social media companies for decisions they make behind closed doors that affect our kids, our democracy, and our fundamental human rights and civil liberties,” CCDH founder and CEO Imran Ahmed said in a statement.

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