Judge Dismisses Suit Against Nonprofit That Tracks Rise In Hate Speech On X

The federal judge in California said Elon Musk's suit was about "punishing the Defendants for their speech” and little more.

Elon Musk’s lawsuit against the Center for Countering Digital Hate has been dismissed by a federal judge in California who deemed the suit an attempt to silence critics of the social media platform X.

Musk’s X Corp. filed suit against the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) last year, accusing the nonprofit of “intentionally and unlawfully” accessing the platform’s data to research reports documenting the rise in hate speech on X, formerly Twitter, following the tech billionaire’s 2022 takeover.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer called the suit a thinly veiled attempt to retaliate against CCDH and dismissed the case under a California law designed to stop frivolous litigation intended to punish defendants’ First Amendment rights, known as anti-SLAPP legislation.

“This case is about punishing the Defendants for their speech,” Breyer said in his judgment.

Musk, a self-declared “free speech absolutist,” did not directly comment on the ruling but retweeted a post from a supporter that declared, “This platform will always fight for free speech.”

After the ruling, CCDH’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan told The Guardian, “Today’s decision proves that even the world’s wealthiest man cannot bend the rule of law to his will.”

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