Twitter followed through on its threat to sue the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate over reports about offensive speech on the platform.
In a complaint brought in federal court for the Northern District of California, Twitter (now renamed X) claims that the nonprofit research organization violated Twitter’s terms of service by scraping data.
The company also alleges that the nonprofit induced someone (whose identity is as yet unknown) to share log-in credentials to Brandwatch — a Twitter partner that offers tools to analyze the company’s data.
Why did the nonprofit do this? According to Twitter, the Center for Countering Digital Hate was gathering material for a “scare campaign” aimed at driving away advertisers, to further the ultimate goal of “censoring” social media.
In the last two years, the nonprofit has issued critical reports regarding problematic material online — including misinformation about vaccines, hate speech, and ads on Google for fake abortion clinics.
Center for Countering Digital Hate founder and CEO Imran Ahmed responded Monday that the lawsuit shows Twitter own Elon Musk “will stop at nothing to silence anyone who criticizes him for his own decisions and actions.”
“Musk is trying to ‘shoot the messenger’ who highlights the toxic content on his platform rather than deal with the toxic environment he’s created,” Ahmed stated in a blog post.
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