July 2023

MRF stands firm against Elon Musk’s threat to curtail independent research

The Molly Rose Foundation (MRF) stands with US-based online safety group the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in the face of legal action from Elon Musk.

Musk, who took over Twitter in October 2022 and upended policies on hate speech and misinformation, has personally attacked the CCDH, calling it “evil”, branding CEO Imran Ahmed a “rat” and now launching a lawsuit.

The CCDH has been studying and publishing research on the rise in hate speech, disinformation and incitement to harm on the platform, which has seen many popular advertisers leave in droves.

Chair of Trustees Ian Russell, also a CCDH UK Board Member, said: “Elon Musk’s legal action amounts to an unprecedented attack on civil society and sets a dangerous precedent for tech companies to seek to intimidate and silence independent tech accountability campaigners.

“At a time when Twitter seems to be backsliding on tackling harmful content, it’s astonishing that Musk has resorted to aggressive tactics to stifle free speech and dampen much needed scrutiny.

“These actions are a crucial reminder of how important it is that civil society can shine a spotlight on the failings of social media companies. Now more than ever, we must hold Big Tech accountable for failures to clean up their act.”

Ahmed said: “CCDH has no intention of stopping our independent research – Musk will not bully us into silence.”

Last year the MRF backed a report by the CCDH which highlighted dangerous content promoting eating disorders and self-harm on TikTok.

If you’re struggling just text MRF to 85258 so you can speak to a trained volunteer from Shout, the UK’s Crisis Text Line service

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