Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday sued a nonprofit that fights hate speech and disinformation, accusing it of asserting false claims and encouraging advertisers to pause investment on the platform.
U.S. media reported earlier that Elon Musk-owned X had sent a letter to the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and threatened to sue the nonprofit for unspecified damages.
In response to that letter, lawyers for the CCDH accused X of “intimidating those who have the courage to advocate against incitement, hate speech and harmful content online.” They also said that X’s allegations had no factual basis.
The lawsuit stems from a media report published in July which stated findings from CCDH’s research saying that hate speech had increased towards minority communities on the platform since Musk acquired the company in October 2022.
X and its CEO Linda Yaccarino labeled the report “false” and said it was based on “a collection of incorrect, misleading, and outdated metrics, mostly from the period shortly after Twitter’s acquisition.”
The CCDH’s research shows that “hate and disinformation is spreading like wildfire on the platform under Musk’s ownership and this lawsuit is a direct attempt to silence those efforts,” the organization’s founder and CEO Imran Ahmed said in an email to Reuters.
The nonprofit will continue its independent research, Ahmed added.
In a blog post on Monday, X said the CCDH had gained access to its data without authorization and accused it of scraping data from its platform, violating X’s terms.
It reiterated that the metrics contained in the research were used out of context to make “unsubstantiated assertions” about X.
X recently filed lawsuits against four unnamed entities in Texas, and Israel’s Bright Data, for scraping data.