A US court has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Elon Musk against an anti-hate watchdog organization.

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Elon Musk, who often proclaims himself a “free speech absolutist,” saw his company’s lawsuit against a non-profit organization dismissed by a California judge due to concerns about its impact on free speech.

Judge Charles Breyer of the US District Court for the Northern District of California rejected Twitter’s lawsuit against the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), which had reported a surge in misinformation and hate speech on the platform following Musk’s takeover.

Twitter, now known as X, had sued CCDH last July, alleging that the organization’s data collection harmed the company’s reputation with advertisers and led to significant revenue losses.

However, CCDH argued that the lawsuit violated California’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) laws, which aim to prevent legal action that could restrict freedom of speech.

The court ruled that the lawsuit was intended to punish CCDH for criticizing the social network and to discourage others from doing the same.

Judge Breyer emphasized that CCDH’s report on X was protected speech under the First Amendment.

Last month, the judge criticized X’s legal arguments, calling them “vapid extensions of law.”

X and Musk have not yet commented on the dismissal of the case.

CCDH’s CEO, Imran Ahmed, welcomed the ruling, stating that it would encourage researchers to continue holding social media companies accountable for harmful content.

Since Musk’s takeover of X in October 2022, misinformation and hateful speech on the platform have reportedly increased. Musk has faced challenges in addressing these issues, including advertiser backlash and difficulties in building a subscription base.

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