Elon Musk files ‘thermonuclear’ lawsuit against Media Matters over false ad placement claims
The lawsuit also alleges that Media Matters tampered with the platform's algorithms to artificially generate images showing advertisers' sponsored posts next to racist and provocative content. According to the complaint, these pairings were 'manufactured, inorganic and extraordinarily rare.'
Elon Musk has initiated a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters, claiming the group falsely reported that major brands' ads on his social media platform appeared alongside antisemitic content.
The lawsuit, filed in Texas, alleges Media Matters deliberately misrepresented facts to deter advertisers and harm the platform. This legal move follows the withdrawal of key advertisers like IBM, NBCUniversal, and Comcast, who, influenced by Media Matters' report linking their ads with pro-Nazi content, ceased their advertising on the platform, the New York Postreports.
The report by Media Matters also indicated that ads from Apple and Oracle appeared alongside antisemitic content within the app. On Friday, the organization reported finding ads from Amazon, NBA Mexico, and other companies adjacent to white nationalist hashtags.
However, in its legal complaint, the platform argues that Media Matters deliberately and wrongfully represented these ad placements as reflective of the typical user experience on the platform.
The lawsuit also alleges that Media Matters tampered with the platform's algorithms to artificially generate images showing advertisers' sponsored posts next to racist and provocative content. According to the complaint, these pairings were “manufactured, inorganic and extraordinarily rare."
X CEO Linda Yaccarino stated that the account operated by Media Matters was the only one that witnessed some of the advertisements appearing alongside the antisemitic posts mentioned in the report.
“If you know me, you know I’m committed to truth and fairness. Here’s the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article,” she said in a post on X.
“Only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media Matters. Data wins over manipulation or allegations. Don’t be manipulated. Stand with X.”
The lawsuit follows Elon Musk's commitment to take legal action against the liberal watchdog group and its supporters, a pledge he made over the weekend.
In response to the lawsuit, Media Matters president Angelo Carusone issued a prepared statement, asserting, “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence."
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced his office was launching an investigation into “radical left-wing” Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity tied to the same report.
“We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” he said in a statement.
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