Twitter’s parent company, now known as X Corp, is taking legal action against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), an anti-hate organization that criticized the platform in its research.
X Corp has accused CCDH of engaging in “unlawful acts” and gaining unauthorized access to its data to produce critical reports about the platform. In response, CCDH has accused X Corp’s owner, Elon Musk, of attempting to stifle criticism and silence those who oppose him. CCDH is a not-for-profit organization known for its research and campaigns against online hate, and its reports have been widely cited in the media.
CCDH’s Chief Executive, Imran Ahmed, stated that Elon Musk’s legal threats are authoritarian in nature, and he accuses Musk of trying to “shoot the messenger” rather than addressing the issues raised in CCDH’s research. CCDH’s reports have highlighted the prevalence of hate and disinformation on Twitter under Musk’s ownership.
The legal dispute arose after an exchange of legal letters between X Corp’s lawyer and CCDH’s US attorney. X Corp’s lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks unspecified damages from CCDH, claiming that the organization’s critical reports have cost the company tens of millions of dollars in lost advertising revenues.
X Corp’s lawsuit alleges that CCDH unlawfully scraped data from the platform and gained unauthorized access through a social media monitoring tool called Brandwatch, whose login details were allegedly shared by an unnamed third party.
Furthermore, X Corp’s complaint accuses CCDH of aiming to censor opposing viewpoints on topics such as Covid-19 vaccines, reproductive healthcare, and climate change.
The case points out that CCDH’s reports prompted several companies to immediately pause advertising spending on Twitter, causing financial harm to the company.