X’s lawsuit against CCDH takes center stage in freedom of speech debate

Elon Musk’s X faces legal setback as Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) wins the lawsuit, highlighting the importance of defending free speech on social media platforms.

By Raunak Bose
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X’s Lawsuit against CCDH

X’s Lawsuit Against CCDH Takes Center Stage in Freedom of Speech Debate

Elon Musk's X (previously known as Twitter) has filed a lawsuit in the Federal court against an NGO, Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) on the grounds of unauthorized data extraction and organisation of a "scare campaign" to drive off different advertisers by making up false stories of extreme offensive content on the site. 

However, the Federal Judge, Charles Breyer clearly stated that the issue at hand was not about unauthorized data extraction but was about Freedom of Speech. CCDH won the case as the lawsuit was ruled null and void due to California's Anti-SLAPP Act, which focuses on safeguarding speech on public issues.

Representative of X was not quite happy with the decision and intends to file an appeal. Moreover, Judge Breyer showed his concerns regarding the financial burden that will fall upon CCDH if X is successful in demanding damages in tens of millions of dollars. 

Federal Judge, Charles Beyer said, “Sometimes it is unclear what is driving a litigation, and only by reading between the lines of a complaint can one attempt to surmise a plaintiff’s true purpose. Other times, a complaint is so unabashedly and vociferously about one thing that there can be no mistaking that purpose. This case represents the latter circumstance. This case is about punishing the Defendants for their speech,” as reported by CNBC.

CCDH’s Legal Victory: Defending Free Expression

CCDH celebrated their victory, dedicating their win towards Freedom of Speech and people’s right to criticise social media companies. Roberta Kaplan was CCDH’s attorney who is renowned for her win against Donald Trump who was accused of decade-long financial fraud and conspiracy.

Roberta Kaplan
Roberta Kaplan represented CCDH in Federal Court (Image via Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP)

CCDH's intensive research shows that since Elon Musk's take over of X in 2022, Antisemitic and Anti-muslim hate has increased greatly in the platform due to the Company's board being ignorant towards this matter and not taking necessary action to stop it. X is currently involved in two other lawsuits including one with the Israeli web data collection company and another against Media Matters for America in Texas.

Even though X disagrees with the decision in the X vs CCDH litigation as it will have repercussions from a wider viewpoint, it highlights the significance of defending free expression, especially in the context of making influential organizations like social media corporations responsible for their deeds.


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