Categories: MarketingSocialMedia

Twitter Threatens To Sue Hate Speech Research Firm

Twitter, recently renamed X Corp, has threatened to sue London-based nonprofit the Centre for Countering Digital Hate after it published research on the social media platform’s alleged failure to take action against hate speech.

In a 20 July X Corp accused the centre of making “a series of troubling and baseless claims that appear calculated to harm Twitter generally, and its digital advertising business specifically” with a threat to sue.

The letter cited research published by the centre in June consisting of eight papers, one of whic found Twitter had taken no action acainst 99 percent of the 100 Twitter Blue subscriber accounts the centre had reported for “tweeting hate”.

The letter said the research was “false, misleading or both”, said the centre had used improper methodology and accused it of being funded by Twitter’s competitorsor foreign governments “in support of an ulterior agenda”.

‘Silence criticism’

CCDH chief executive Imran Ahmed said in a statement that the action represented “a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research” and that X owner Elon Musk wanted to “stem the tide of negative stories and rebuild his relationship with advertisers”.

The centre added that it does not accept funding from tech companies, governments or their affiliates. X has not commented on the lawsuit.

The company in May sent a letter to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella accusing the company of improperly using its data and in July accused Facebook parent Meta Platforms of copying Twitter’s trade secrets in creating its social media app Threads.

X also sued law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz last month in an effort to recoup what it said were excessive fees paid to the firm as a reward for preventing Musk from backing out of his deal to buy Twitter last year.

Kanye West reinstated

The platform last week reinstated the account of rapper Kanye West, known as Ye, after reportedly obtaining assurances that West would not post offensive content on the platform.

West’s Twitter account was suspended roughly eight months ago following a series of posts that Musk said violated the platform’s rules against incitement to violence.

West will not be eligible to receive payments for his content and X will not be displaying advertising alongside his posts, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unspecified source.

Following Twitter’s rebrand as X late last month the company erected a brightly illuminated “X” sign on top of its San Francisco headquarters on Friday, which nearby residents said glowed and strobed throughout the night.

Glowing ‘X’ sign

The rooftop sign was erected without a permit, according to a complaint on the Department of Building Inspection website. An X representative told the department that the sign was “a temporary lighted sign for an event”, the complaint said.

“I love what he’s doing… He’s a showman… everybody is talking San Francisco now. I love that!” a local resident told local media outlet ABC 7 News.

Another resident told CBS News Bay Area that a number of older people lived in the building across the street from the Twitter/X headquarters and compared the sign to “lightning” or a “police siren”.

“It’s such a clown show,” she said.

Complaints

The city’s building inspection department said it observed the sign being dismantled on Monday morning, adding that it had received 24 complaints over the weekend.

As of Monday the original Twitter name and logo had also been removed from the building.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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