“Musk is behaving like a child who simply cannot take responsibility for the fact that he pooped in his own pants and it wasn’t someone else that did it for him,” Center for Countering Digital Hate founder Imran Ahmed said in a statement.
Elon Musk’s “X,” long known as Twitter, has filed a lawsuit against a group of researchers, claiming that their publications on the spread of hate speech have harmed the social media platform and cost it millions of dollars in advertising revenue.
According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In their complaint, attorneys suggest that the Center for Countering Digital Hate violated X’s terms of service by improperly collecting data for analysis.
The lawsuit also claims that the Center receives significant funding from foreign governments and media companies—companies that X considers its competitors.
Imran Ahmed, the founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, told CNBC that X’s allegations are untrue and unsubstantiated.
“I made clear that we don’t take money from tech companies, social media companies, and we don’t take money from governments,” Ahmed said. “We take money from philanthropic trusts and the public.”
“If people want to donate, they can donate to us here,” Ahmed told CNBC, adding that Musk does not appear to “understand how free speech truly works.”
While Musk is a “self-proclaimed champion of free speech,” Ahmed said, he “doesn’t understand the marketplace of ideas.”
“Musk is behaving like a child who simply cannot take responsibility for the fact that he pooped in his own pants and it wasn’t someone else that did it for him,” Ahmed opined.
The Associated Press notes that, in spite of its claims, X’s legal team did not specify which countries or governments might be providing funding for the Center.
“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 said.
A spokesperson for the Center for Countering Digital Hate further said that the organization receives no funding from any entities or corporations that could be considered competitors of X.
“X’s legal threat is a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research, perhaps in a desperate hope that it stem the time of negative stories and rebuild the company’s relationship with advertisers,” Ahmed said.
Twitter, for its own part, says that it promotes free speech and denies the Center for Countering Digital Hate’s allegations.
“X is a free public service funded largely by advertisers,” X said in its own statement. “Through the CCDH’s scare campaign and its ongoing pressure on brands to prevent the public’s access to free expression, the CCDH is actively working to prevent public dialogue.”