How X Is Suing Its Way Out of Accountability
The social media giant's recent lawsuit against a nonprofit reflects its game plan
On July 19, 2023, Bloomberg News reported what many others have been saying for some time: Twitter (now called X) was losing advertisers, in part because of its lax enforcement against hate speech. Quoted heavily in the story was Callum Hood, the head of research at the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a nonprofit that tracks hate speech on social platforms, whose work has highlighted several instances in which Twitter has allowed violent, hateful, or misleading content to remain on the platform.
The next day, X announced it was filing a lawsuit against the nonprofit and the European Climate Foundation, for the alleged misuse of Twitter data leading to the loss of advertising revenue. In the lawsuit, X alleges that the data CCDH used in its research was obtained using the login credentials from the European Climate Foundation, which had an account with the third-party social listening tool, Brandwatch. Brandwatch has a license to use Twitter’s data through its API. X alleges that the CCDH was not authorized to access the Twitter/X data. The suit also accuses the CCDH of scraping Twitter’s platform without proper authorization, in violation of the company’s terms of service.
X did not respond to WIRED’s request for comment.
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