Twitter sues watchdog Center for Countering Digital Hate

Washington, DC

Twitter has sued the Heart for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit group that has criticized the corporate’s dealing with of hate speech, following by means of on a litigation risk that had been publicly revealed simply hours earlier than.

The lawsuit filed Monday in San Francisco federal court docket accuses CCDH of intentionally making an attempt to drive advertisers away from Twitter — lately rebranded as “X” — by publishing reviews crucial of the platform’s response to hateful content material.

It particularly claims CCDH violated Twitter’s phrases of service, and federal hacking legal guidelines, by scraping knowledge from the corporate’s platform and by encouraging an unnamed particular person to improperly gather details about Twitter that it had supplied to a third-party model monitoring supplier.

The criticism accuses CCDH of partaking in a wide-ranging marketing campaign to silence customers of Twitter’s platform by calling consideration to the views they publish on social media.

Responding to the criticism’s allegations on Tuesday, CCDH’s CEO Imran Ahmed informed CNN that a lot of the lawsuit, notably its declare concerning the unnamed particular person, “sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory to me.”

“The truth is that he’s [Elon Musk] been casting around for a reason to blame us for his own failings as a CEO,” Ahmed mentioned, “because we all know that when he took over, he put up the bat signal to racists and misogynists, to homophobes, to antisemites, saying ‘Twitter is now a free-speech platform.’ … And now he’s surprised when people are able to quantify that there has been a resulting increase in hate and disinformation.”

“All we do is hold up a mirror to the platform and ask them to consider whether or not they like the reflection they see in it,” Ahmed added. “What Mr. Musk has done is said, ‘I’m going to sue the mirror because I don’t like what I see.’”

Prior to now 24 hours, Ahmed mentioned, 1000’s of individuals have visited CCDH’s web site and lots of have made donations to the group.

“That’s what we’re going to need if we’re going to survive this,” he mentioned, including: “The reason that organizations like CCDH have to rely on methodologies like we do is because there is no transparency on these platforms.”

The lawsuit comes after CCDH on Monday disclosed Twitter’s unique July 20 risk to sue, together with its response to Twitter’s risk calling the corporate’s claims “ridiculous.”

“X’s legal threat is a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research, perhaps in a desperate hope that it can stem the tide of negative stories and rebuild the company’s relationship with advertisers,” Ahmed wrote in an op-ed Monday coinciding with the group’s publication of Twitter’s risk.

In its personal blog post Monday, Twitter mentioned its lawsuit was supposed to advertise free expression and that it “rejects all claims made by the CCDH.”

“X is a free public service funded largely by advertisers,” the corporate mentioned. “Through the CCDH’s scare campaign and its ongoing pressure on brands to prevent the public’s access to free expression, the CCDH is actively working to prevent public dialogue.”

The July 20 risk indicated Twitter was investigating whether or not CCDH could possibly be sued for violations of federal legal guidelines in opposition to false promoting. However Monday’s criticism doesn’t seem to incorporate such an allegation.

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