Home Elon Musk’s X lawsuit against CCDH dismissed as ‘vapid’ by judge

Elon Musk’s X lawsuit against CCDH dismissed as ‘vapid’ by judge

A San Francisco district judge has delivered a scathing response to Elon Musk’s X Corp, throwing out their lawsuit against a campaign group targeting hate speech online.

The case was dismissed in accordance with the state’s anti-Slapp laws which negate legal action taken for the primary concern of censuring free speech.

Slaap is an abbreviation for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation.

US District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco granted the dismissal request by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which had compiled an extensive report on the rapid proliferation of racist, antisemitic and extremist content on X, formerly known as Twitter, since Musk’s takeover of the social media platform.

The ruling does not come as a surprise following a preliminary hearing last month when Breyer called out aspects of Musk’s case as one of the “most vapid extensions of law that I’ve ever heard”.

That was followed up with an emphatic decision, today.

“Sometimes it is unclear what is driving a litigation, and only by reading between the lines of a complaint can one attempt to surmise a plaintiff’s true purpose,” said the US district judge.

“Other times, a complaint is so unabashedly and vociferously about one thing that there can be no mistaking that purpose. This case represents the latter circumstance. This case is about punishing the defendants for their speech.”

Embarrassing rebuke for Musk and X

Given how Musk sets out his X platform as a bastion of truth and a bulwark against the interests of legacy media, the judges findings will be viewed by some as an embarrassing rebuke for the Tesla, Neuralink billionaire.

He had instigated legal action against CCDH last year, alleging the group had “intentionally and unlawfully accessed data” by scraping the platform’s posts to form its reports. The anti-hate lobby defended its methods as public data gathering and insisted the allegations were “riddled with legal deficiencies”, setting out the argument the true purpose of the lawsuit was to shut down speech which was critical of Musk and his interests.

Image credit: Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

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