The Elon Musk-owned, Twitter parent company X Corp. threatened a lawsuit against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) over research aimed at the social media platform, the nonprofit announced on Monday.
X Corp. sent the letter containing the threat to CCDH, a British nonprofit organization that advocates for online censorship, on July 20, according to the document CCDH published on its website. The parent company asserted that CCDH has targeted Twitter with multiple unfounded accusations to hurt the company and alleged that the platform enables objectionable speech to spread rapidly.
🚨@ElonMusk has claimed he is a free speech absolutist, but he is now using his attorneys to try to silence CCDH with bogus legal threats.
— Center for Countering Digital Hate (@CCDHate) July 31, 2023
The letter alleges the CCDH’s research in a June report titled “Twitter Fails To Act On 99% Of Twitter Blue Accounts Tweeting Hate” was “false, misleading or both.” The letter criticizes the research methodology, stating that CCDH reported hateful tweets from 100 Twitter Blue accounts and checked if the social media platform took action against them within four days.
“It has come to our attention that you and your organization, the Center for Countering Digital Hate … have made a series of troubling and baseless claims that appear calculated to harm Twitter generally, and its digital advertising business specifically,” the letter reads. “CCDH regularly posts articles making inflammatory, outrageous, and false or misleading assertions about Twitter and its operations, which CCDH holds out to the general public as supported by ‘research.’”
The letter also asserts that CCDH is funded by Twitter competitors, a claim that the nonprofit denies, according to The New York Times.
“Elon Musk’s actions represent a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research,” CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed told the NYT regarding the July 20 letter.
“Please be advised that Twitter will employ any and all legal tools at its disposal to prevent false or misleading claims from harming its users, platform, or business,” the letter concludes.
CCDH was founded in 2019 by Labour Party organizers and has urged tech giants to remove ads from conservative websites such as The Federalist and Breitbart News, the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
The organization published a report titled “The Disinformation Dozen,” which prompted Twitter officials, before Musk took over the platform, to give some tweets a “vaccine safety label.” CCDH’s report identified “Twelve Leading Antivaxxers” and accused them of being prominent spreaders of online “misinformation,” urging for their “deplatforming.”
CCDH’s work “has forced change at once-reluctant social media platforms and led to anti-vaxxers removing their propaganda to avoid being banned,” the nonprofit claims on its website.
“We’ll get back to you soon,” Twitter responded to the DCNF’s request for comment. It is the platform’s updated automatic response to all press emails.
CCDH did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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