Musk loses suit against hate speech watchdog

STORY: A U.S. judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit filed by Elon Musk against a non-profit group that tracks online hate speech.

In his decision, the judge said it was “evident” that Musk sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate because he didn’t like that it faulted him for allowing a rise in hate speech on his platform X – formerly known as Twitter – and he thought CCDH’s research would hurt the platform’s image and scare off advertisers.

The judge wrote, “X Corp has brought this case in order to punish CCDH for CCDH publications that criticized X Corp–and perhaps in order to dissuade others who might wish to engage in such criticism.”

The decision is a blow for Musk, who has styled himself as a champion of free speech.

But since paying $44 billion for Twitter in 2022, Musk has faced widespread criticism for firing staff at X who policed misinformation and for allowing more harmful and abusive posts.

Musk’s own speech has often drawn complaints.

In November 2023, he endorsed an antisemitic post on X that said members of the Jewish community were stoking hatred against white people, saying the user spoke “the actual truth.”

Musk has denied being antisemitic and sought to make amends, including in a January visit to the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz in southern Poland.

While there he claimed the platform was making progress.

ELON MUSK: “The outside audits that we’ve had done, at least the ones that we’ve had done, show that there is the least amount of antisemitism on X. If you look at all the other social apps… Like it’s is never going to be zero if you’ve got 600 million people on the platform.”

An attorney for CCDH said Monday’s decision shows that Musk “cannot bend the rule of law to his will.”

X, in a statement, said it plans to appeal.

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