U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer dismisses Elon Musk’s lawsuit against ‘Center for Countering Digital Hate’

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer dismissed Elon Musk’s lawsuit against a non-profit ‘Center for Countering Digital Hate’ (CCDH) that has documented an increase in hate speech on X (formerly Twitter) ever since it was acquired by Musk.


Musk claimed that CCDH violated the terms of service of the social media platform by improperly compiling public tweets, and such a report cost X millions of dollars by impacting advertisers.

The judge dismissed the suit by writing in his order that the lawsuit was filed for the sole purpose of punishing the CCDH. “unabashedly and vociferously about one thing” said the judge.

The social media company also claimed that the nonprofit scraped its platform for the data which is against its terms of service. But failed to prove any financial losses based on technological harms such as how the scraping led to financial loss to X.

CCDH argued that as a third party, its independent actions can’t be held accountable for the losses of the social media company such as the loss of ad revenue. The judge agreed with the argument saying ‘X cannot seek damages for the independent acts of third parties based on CCDH’s reports, or its speech’

CCDH is a nonprofit with offices in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. It regularly publishes reports on hate speech, extremism, or harmful behavior on social media platforms like X, TikTok, or Facebook. The organization has published several reports critical of Musk’s leadership, detailing a rise in anti-LGBTQ hate speech as well as climate misinformation since his acquisition of the social media site.

According to the reports, the social media company in a statement posted on X said it “disagrees with the court’s decision and plans to appeal.”

On the other hand, Imran Ahmed, founder & CEO of CCDH said, the lawsuit amounted to a “hypocritical campaign of harassment” by a billionaire who talks about protecting free speech but who then uses his wealth to try to silence his critics. He said the lawsuit shows the need for a federal law requiring tech companies to release more information about their operations so that the public can understand how these powerful platforms are shaping society.

“We hope this landmark ruling will embolden public-interest researchers everywhere to continue, and even intensify, their vital work of holding social media companies accountable for the hate and disinformation they host and the harm they cause,” said Ahmed

Roberta Kaplan, the attorney for CCDH said, the dismissal of X’s suit shows “even the wealthiest man cannot bend the rule of law to his will.”

“We are living in an age of bullies, and it’s social media that gives them the power that they have today,” Kaplan said in an email to reporters. “It takes great courage to stand up to these bullies; it takes an organization like the Center for Countering Digital Hate. We are proud and honored to represent CCDH.”

It is worth noting that last November, several big advertisers including IBM, NBCUniversal, and its parent Comcast stopped advertising on X after a report from the liberal advocacy group named Media Matters which said that their ads were appearing alongside material praising nazis. As a result, the social media platform tried to win back its big advertisers by suing Media Matters.

Later, Elon Musk expressed his anger at the brands by saying that they were engaging in blackmail.

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Riyaz Idrisi
Riyaz Idrisi

Senior Editor at LAFFAZ. Riyaz is a marketing professional with tremendous capabilities to deploy multiple online marketing techniques and synergize innovative promotional methodologies to make content available to relevant people.

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