Elon Musk‘s social media platform X, formerly Twitter, has filed a legal suit against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a nonprofit organization that campaigns against online hate and misinformation.
What Happened: X is accusing CCDH of perpetuating false claims, discouraging advertisers from investing in the platform, and affecting public access to free speech.
The company also alleged that CCDH obtained unauthorized access to its data via Brandwatch, misused it, and violated X’s terms of service. The suit further accused CCDH of “de-platforming of users whose views do not conform to its ideological agenda” and explicitly targeting free-speech organizations to hinder their revenue streams.
The social media company is taking legal action against CCDH, alleging that the organization is actively working against free expression and misusing the platform’s data. The lawsuit was initiated following a series of actions by CCDH, which X claims are aimed at inhibiting the free exchange of ideas on its platform.
X claims that CCDH has been spreading false and misleading information to deter advertisers from the platform, thus threatening the public’s right to express their views freely. According to X, more than half a billion users could be affected if CCDH’s actions persist.
The lawsuit also addresses CCDH’s alleged misuse of X’s data. It is alleged that CCDH obtained unauthorized access to X’s data through Brandwatch, an online consumer intelligence company. The unauthorized access reportedly enabled CCDH to use X’s metrics out of context to substantiate false claims about the platform.
Why It Matters: If X wins the lawsuit, it could set a legal precedent against organizations that attempt to manipulate or coerce online platforms to suppress free expression. It could also deter future instances of unauthorized data access or misuse. Moreover, it could protect the platform’s revenue, securing its ability to offer free services to users.
However, if CCDH triumphs in court, it could validate its claims and lead to potential advertiser fallout for X. It may also encourage similar activist groups to challenge social media platforms over their content moderation policies and enforcement. Lastly, it could change how social media platforms handle their data, broadly affecting user privacy and data security.
Produced in association with Benzinga