Twitter’s Musk Threatens Legal Action to Silence ‘Hate Speech’ Watchdog

Posted in: Andy Oxide, Culture War, MPN, News, Updates


In a heated clash between social media giant Twitter and the nonprofit organization Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), legal threats and accusations have been exchanged, putting the spotlight on the issue of hate speech and misinformation on the platform.

The CCDH, known for its research on digital hate speech and misinformation, has accused Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, of attempting to silence criticism.

X Corp., the parent company of Twitter, sent a letter to the CCDH earlier this month, alleging that the organization made a series of “troubling and baseless claims” that aimed to harm Twitter’s overall reputation and digital advertising business.

The CCDH promptly posted screenshots of the letter on its website, labeling it as “Musk threatens CCDH with brazen attempt to silence honest criticism.”

Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, accused the CCDH’s research of being “false, misleading, or both” and challenged the validity of their methodologies.

At the heart of the matter was a research report by the CCDH, which claimed that Twitter had failed to take appropriate action against 99% of 100 flagged posts for “tweeting hate,” including racist, homophobic, and antisemitic content.

The situation was further complicated as Twitter Blue, the subscription program, was introduced for users willing to pay a monthly fee in exchange for account verification and other perks.

Elon Musk’s lawyer, Spiro, made it clear that the company was considering legal action against the CCDH for what they perceived as false and damaging claims.

He warned that Twitter would utilize all legal tools at its disposal to prevent the spread of misinformation that could potentially harm the platform, its users, or its business.

In response, the CCDH’s lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan, staunchly defended the organization’s research and rejected the notion that they were engaging in frivolous actions.

Kaplan asserted that Twitter was free to pursue litigation if they saw fit, but she cautioned them about the potential risks involved in using legal actions to intimidate critics and suppress legitimate public commentary on important issues.

A statement released by the CCDH alongside the letters accused Elon Musk of attempting to silence honest criticism and independent research in an effort to improve his relationship with advertisers and mitigate negative stories.

This is yet another chapter in the ongoing struggle between social media platforms and watchdog groups concerning “hate speech and misinformation” on the internet.

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter last year drew significant scrutiny, with watchdog groups and activists criticizing him for loosening restrictions on content and making seemingly erratic and impulsive decisions.

The tech mogul, however, has repeatedly defended his actions as being in the interest of “free speech” and has expressed a desire to transform Twitter into a “digital town square.”

In the midst of the conflict, Musk claimed that hate speech on the platform was decreasing.

He even shared a tweet on November 23, accompanied by a graph drawn from internal data, showing a purported downward trend in “hate speech impressions.”

Per usual, critics have dismissed these claims, arguing that the reality on the platform contradicts Musk’s assertions.

Among the prominent voices speaking out against Musk’s handling of hate speech on Twitter is one of the usual suspects: Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who coincidentally is running for the U.S. Senate.

Schiff strongly criticized Musk, stating that Twitter had become a platform amplifying antisemitism and anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech since Musk took over.

The congressman accused Musk of silencing critics and trying to use his lawyers to target the CCDH instead of addressing the growing concerns about harmful content on Twitter.

The CCDH has garnered significant attention and recognition, with news outlets like NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN citing their research.

As the legal battle unfolds, the world watches closely, as it carries implications not only for the involved parties but also for the broader debate on the responsibilities of social media platforms in curbing free speech.

The real questions remain: where is the line between freedom of speech and hate speech?

Is there one?

Read the original story here:
NBC News



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