Is Musk Trying to Silence Honest Criticism by Threatening Anti-Hate Speech Group?

Is Musk Trying to Silence Honest Criticism by Threatening Anti-Hate Speech Group?

X Corp., formerly known as Twitter has threatened a non-profit research group regarding hate speech and misinformation, reports CNBC.

On July 20, Elon Musk’s X Corp. issued a letter to the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a British research nonprofit, warning them of potential legal action.

The company has made allegations against the CCDH, stating that it made “inflammatory, outrageous, and false or misleading assertions about Twitter” and suggested a conspiracy “to drive advertisers off Twitter by smearing the company and its owner.”

The CCDH’s research, published in June, studied the propagation of hate speech on social media platforms since Musk’s buyout. The British nonprofit found that X Corp. failed to act on 99% of hate spread on the platform while looking at 100 different Twitter Blue subscribers.

Another CCDH research uncovered that the microblogging site did not take action on 89% of anti-Jewish hate speech and 97% of anti-Muslim hate speech present on the platform.

The Twitter boss said his new company, which he bought in October 2022, is struggling with negative cash flow amid a nearly 50% decline in advertising revenue.

‘Musk trying to silence honest criticism’

Responding to the threat posed by X Corp., Imran Ahmed, CEO of the British nonprofit CCDH, has claimed that Musk is trying to “silence honest criticism and independent research.”

“Advertisers are fleeing his platform for one clear reason: Elon Musk has supported the proliferation of hate and racism on it, and he doesn’t care to stop it,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed believes “this should be the last time anyone dares to claim Musk is a ‘free speech absolutist.’”

In recent months, the letter from X Corp. to CCDH is just one instance among several legal threats or actions made by the microblogging platform.

In May, X Corp. directed a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, accusing the tech giant of misusing its access to Twitter data and engaging in “unauthorized uses and purposes.”

Subsequently, in July, the company issued a threat to sue Meta over its new Threads app, claiming “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.”

Also in July, X Corp. initiated a lawsuit against Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the corporate law firm responsible for preventing Musk from withdrawing from his $44 billion Twitter buyout.

Twitter’s rebranding to X receives downrating

Twitter no longer exists as a company since the middle of April, when owner Musk merged it with another entity called X Corp., in a move seen as signalling his goal to turn the social media platform into an “everything app.”

Ultimately, Musk replaced Twitter’s iconic blue bird logo with an “X” on July 24. However, the rebranding did not immediately go according to Musk’s plan, as US App Store users have been venting their frustrations over the name change, leading to a surge in 1-star negative reviews.

Since the official day of the rebranding, market intelligence firm Sensor Tower’s data shows that almost 78% of all U.S. iOS reviews for the newly renamed X app have been 1-star reviews. In contrast, two weeks before the rebrand had only 50% 1-star reviews.

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