Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, the social media platform that was formerly known as Twitter, has proven to be not the “free speech” absolutist he claimed to be. Not only has Musk implemented arbitrary rules, such as the fact that “cisgender” is considered a slur, but he has also targeted people who monitor extremism on the platform in an attempt to intimidate them.
X Corp., the parent company of the social media giant, according to The New York Times, sent a letter on July 20 accusing the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a leading social media research firm, of making disturbing and unfounded accusations that appear to be intended to hurt Twitter and its digital advertising business by making troubling and baseless claims about the company.
It cited a study published in June by a non-profit organization called the Center for Countering Digital Hate. Eight papers were presented as a result of the study, one of which suggested that Twitter did not take action against 99 percent of the 100 Twitter Blue accounts reported as “tweeting hate” content, according to the Times.
It is alleged in the letter that the organization’s methods are ineffective, and its research is inaccurate or misleading as a consequence.
The complaint claimed that foreign governments or companies competing with Twitter were funding the company to propagate “an ulterior agenda.”
The Times points out this year has been challenging for Twitter’s advertising business since Musk bought it last year and took it over. During the five weeks ending in early May of this year, the United States ad revenue fell by 59 percent from last year to $88 million. Advertisers may have been scared away from the social network because of Musk’s changes, which have resulted in a lack of rules concerning what can be said or not on the platform.
Additionally, the platform has been serving an increased number of advertisements from questionable companies over the past few months, increasing the number of reputable companies avoiding Twitter for that reason, the Times reports.