June 21, 2024

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Elon Musk’s X defends US university student in trouble over posts

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Elon Musk’s X has made good on its promise to back users that are being punished for statements they make on his social media platform, coming to the defence of a US university student facing disciplinary proceedings over his posts. 

According to a letter obtained by the Financial Times, University of Illinois student Juan David Campolargo was accused in early November of violating the school’s student code of conduct after he posted on X promoting an event as an open gathering with free food, when it was a closed conference.

Campolargo is at risk of being placed on conduct probation and being kicked out of campus housing as a result of the disciplinary action, the letter said. 

Lawyers at Schaerr Jaffe — who said they are representing Campolargo “with the support of X Corp” — wrote on November 14 that if the university did not “reverse the preliminary finding” against the student, it would “result in a violation of his rights”. 

The letter added: “Should the University uphold and punish Mr Campolargo for his September 30, 2023 posts, Mr Campolargo would have a claim against the University for violation of his First Amendment rights.” 

Musk, a self-declared “free speech absolutist”, in August pledged to fund the legal bills and sue on behalf of X users who believe they have been “unfairly treated” due to posting or liking something on the platform. It comes despite his efforts to wrestle X’s costs under control.

“No limit,” he wrote on X at the time. “We won’t just sue, it will be extremely loud and we will go after the boards of directors of the companies too.”

Musk has doubled down on his free speech bent since buying the platform for $44bn just over a year ago, loosening its moderation policies. The moves have been applauded by many of his followers as well as libertarian tech figures in his…

2023-11-16 11:27:01

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