To add another entry to Musk’s issues and controversies, AFP is taking Elon Musk’s social media platform X to court, alleging the platform’s refusal to engage in discussions regarding compensation for the distribution of news.
- AFP claims that X has been republishing its news articles, including headlines, summaries, and full articles, without permission.
- X Corp. also filed a lawsuit against the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit tracking hate speech on social media.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk’s social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday, August 3, 2023, accusing the rebranded Twitter of refusing to engage in discussions about payments for the distribution of news.
The laundry list of issues and controversies gets longer by the day as this lawsuit finds its basis in the “neighboring rights” law. In 2019, the European Union (EU) implemented this law to enable news agencies and publishers to be compensated by digital platforms that profit from the distribution of news content.
The French news agency alleges that X has been republishing its news articles, including headlines and summaries, as well as full articles, without permission. The news outlet also alleges that the platform has been including AFP news articles in its aggregated news feeds, which are a way for users to see a variety of news articles from different sources in one place. X has been allegedly using the French organizations’ news images and videos without permission as well.
AFP is seeking information that would allow it to calculate fair compensation for the sharing of its content. But despite its efforts to initiate discussions with X, the social media platform has allegedly declined any dialogue regarding the implementation of these rights.
In a statement, AFP said that it had tried to reach an agreement with Musk’s company, but that the company had refused to engage in discussions. “We are disappointed that X has refused to engage in good faith negotiations,” the statement said. “We believe that this lawsuit is necessary to protect the rights of our journalists and to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their work.”
Elon Musk responded to the legal challenge in a post on X, expressing his bewilderment.
According to the French newswire, X is also in alleged violation of French law that protects the rights of news organizations to control the use of their content.
Because Musk’s life is not tumultuous enough, X Corp. legally challenged the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a nonprofit tracking hate speech on social media. The lawsuit alleges that the nonprofit unlawfully “scraped” X’s server and misrepresented data related to hateful and harmful content on the platform. The nonprofit’s CEO, Imran Ahmed, criticized Musk’s legal action, calling it “straight out of the authoritarian playbook.”
Ahmed accused Musk of attempting to silence the organization and evade responsibility for the toxic environment present on the microblogging platform. The two CEOs have been at one another’s throat for MONTHS now, with Musk referring to Ahmed as a “rat” and labeling his nonprofit as “truly evil.”
It’s like watching an uncomfortable tennis match.
… and forth.
Musk’s issues stem from their reports highlighting high levels of harmful content on X, particularly after Musk acquired the platform. The CCDH published reports on topics like racist and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric on X, which may have contributed to advertisers leaving the platform and causing a significant drop in revenue.
I’m currently wishing I was part of Elon Musk’s legal team. They must be rolling in the greens with all these issues and controversies that keep popping up.
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