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Elon Musk’s X to pay fees to support Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill after failed lawsuit


Since acquiring the company now known as X, Elon Musk has claimed that his social media platform would be one where free speech ideals reigned supreme. In August 2023, Musk went so far as declaring that he would financially support any user who was punished for their speech on X.

“If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” Musk said. “No limit. Please let us know.”

This past Sunday, X seemingly shared an example of one such case.

“X is proud to help defend Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill against the government-supported efforts to cancel her speech,” X said, going on to say they would pay the remainder of the doctor’s $300,000 legal bills. Gill had previously posted that she had raised around half of the amount herself through a crowdfunding campaign, meaning X was going to fund the estimated remainder of $150,000.

However, Musk and company left out an important, glaring detail that seems to run contrary to his stated “free speech” beliefs: The lawsuit that Gill lost was one that she filed in an attempt to silence critics from saying things she did not like.

Who is Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill?

Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill is a Canadian physician who published posts in 2020 on X, then Twitter, that presented her COVID vaccine-skepticism and anti-lockdown beliefs in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, in one tweet that Gill posted in August 2020, she said, “If you have not yet figured out that we don’t need a vaccine, you are not paying attention. #FactsNotFear.”

Gill’s posts were highly criticized by the medical community and were covered by journalists with mainstream news outlets.

As a result, Gill sued 23 doctors, journalists, and news outlets, claiming defamation. Some of the individuals that she sued were ones who had posted their criticism in direct response to her on the social media platform X.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit under anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) law, deeming that the suit was an attempt by Gill to silence her critics’ speech. Gill was ordered to pay the defendants’ legal fees, a judgment of $300,000.

X steps in to support Gill

According to X’s official statement on its support for Gill, “Elon Musk learned earlier this week about her crowdfunding campaign to pay the judgment,” and that’s when he pledged to help.

In its post, X claims that “free speech is the bedrock of democracy and a critical defense against totalitarianism in all forms” and that “we must do whatever we can to protect it.”

“At X, we will always fight to protect your right to speak freely,” X’s statement ends.

However, X leaves out critical information about this case that makes their position contrary to Musk and company’s stated beliefs.

X claims in its statement that Gill was “harassed by the legacy media, censored by prior Twitter management, and subjected to investigations and disciplinary proceedings by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.”

But it was Gill who filed the lawsuit, in an attempt to stifle speech she didn’t like, which included posts from her critics on then-Twitter. 

Also, while the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), a regulatory medical body, did “caution” Gill over her COVID posts, those are intended to be educational or remedial measures, not punitive. Gill did not lose her medical license. (In addition, the CPSO was not involved in Gill’s lawsuit.)

But, X’s actions here shouldn’t be too surprising. Musk and company just lost a lawsuit of their own — also struck down under anti-SLAPP law — one day after it announced their financial support for Gill. In that case, X sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a nonprofit that tracks hate speech online, over reports regarding X that Musk did not like.

“In support of your right to speak,” Musk commented earlier this week regarding X’s financial help for Gill.

But, it doesn’t seem that Musk extends that “right to speak” to Gill’s or X’s critics.





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