X is funding a lawsuit against Jack Dorsey’s Block to support the ‘right to freedom of speech’

X is funding a lawsuit filed by Chloe Happe against her former employer Block, which was founded by Jack Dorsey, the same person who founded the website formerly known as Twitter. In her lawsuit, Happe said Block had wrongfully fired her in retaliation for two posts she made on what she called her “pseudonymous, satirical account” on X while on her personal time. One of the posts made after the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel referenced refugees fleeing Gaza and and coming to the region of Kurdistan. In another, she used ableist language and a slur against transgender people while referencing the use of a “gender neutral restroom in the office.”

Happe repeatedly stressed that she “expressed her political views, opinions, or beliefs in the form of satire.” She said she did not mention Block in any post on her anonymous account and that she did not make those posts during her work hours. Happe also said that she “voluntarily deleted” the post on refugees within days of posting. She deleted the post with the slurs on the same day she made it upon seeing that X had limited its visibility.

But Block still obtained copies of the posts and wouldn’t tell her if another employee had complained about it, she argued in her lawsuit, admitting that she initially denied making them out of fear that she could get in trouble. She accused Block of terminating her, without severance, solely because she expressed views the company disagreed with. Happe argued that Block’s policies expressly allowed its employees to engage in speech like her post, so it was the company that violated its own rules. Jack Dorsey, the founder of both Block (a financial services company) and Twitter, had publicly endorsed Elon Musk before the latter took over ownership of the social media platform. Last year, though, he changed his tune and criticized Musk, saying “it all went south” after he took over and that he “should have walked away” from the acquisition.

On his account, Elon Musk retweeted X’s announcement that it’s supporting Happe’s lawsuit with the caption: “Supporting your right to freedom of speech.” The company had previously funded other lawsuits in the name of “free speech.” One of those cases is Gina Carano’s lawsuit against Lucasfilm and Disney, which she accused of removing her from The Mandalorian for expressing views that were “not in line with the acceptable narrative of the time.” Carano notably questioned the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and added “boop/bop/beep” as her pronouns. She also shared a post on Instagram that compared the treatment of conservatives in America to the treatment of Jews in Nazi-era Germany.

Happe is asking the court to order her reinstatement as a Block employee. She is also asking for compensatory and punitive damages, including for loss of pay from the time she was terminated.

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