Twitter is going after an anti-hate speech organization over “baseless” claims

Twitter is going after an anti-hate speech organization over “baseless” claims

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Twitter Inc., recently renamed to X Corp, is threatening to take legal action against a British anti-hate speech and misinformation nonprofit organization for allegedly making untrue claims that hurt the company’s business.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate, or CCDH, which has offices in London and Washington DC, today posted screenshots of a letter showing that X Corp believes it has made “baseless” and “calculated” claims about the amount of hate speech on Twitter since Elon Musk took over the company.

Since its inception in 2018, CCDH has written scathing studies on “fringe publishers” that it has accused of promulgating misinformation. It’s written about anti-vax activists, racism, and antisemitism, and since Musk took the reigns of Twitter, it’s been outspoken regarding what it says are profits made from X Corp’s “toxic reinstated accounts.”

In total, CCDH has written eight papers criticizing the company. In one of the latest papers, the organization accused X Corp of not taking action “on 99% of hate posted by Twitter Blue subscribers,” which it says suggests X Corp “is allowing them to break its rules with impunity and is even algorithmically boosting their toxic tweets.”

“CCDH regularly posts articles making inflammatory, outrageous, and false or misleading assertions about Twitter and its operations, which CCDH holds out to the general public as supported by ‘research,’” said the letter. The missive goes on, saying the “outlandish conclusions” that CCDH has been made without attempting a “rigorous design process, analytic procedures or peer review” that a reputable research organization would be expected to make.

X Corp’s lawyers accused CCDH of doing this “in support of an ulterior agenda” for possibly other companies or government agencies, perhaps referring to what’s now called the “censorship industrial complex.” X Corp is threatening legal action on what it says are these “false and misleading claims.”

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Earlier in July, Musk, in reference to CCDH, tweeted, “Who is funding this organization? They spread disinformation and push censorship while claiming the opposite. Truly evil.” He added, “Nonetheless, we will keep them on Twitter in the name of free speech.”

CCDH shot back in its own letter, saying it does not receive funding from other social media companies or government entities. Its lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, called the allegations in the letter “ridiculous,” adding that X Corp is engaging in “a disturbing effort to intimidate those who have the courage to advocate against incitement, hate speech, and harmful content online.”

Image: BoliviaInteligente/Unsplash

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