Days after Media Matters claimed that ads for top companies were spotted next to X posts on Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, the Elon Musk-owned social media platform has sued the media watchdog group over alleged defamation.
Musk drew flak on November 15 after he agreed to a post accusing Jews of "dialectical hatred" towards White people. He went on to claim it was "the actual truth”.
Following this, Media Matters published its report and towards the weekend, several major brands including Apple, Walt Disney Co, Warner Bros Discovery Inc, Paramount Global, NBC Universal's Bravo network and Comcast, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate pulled ads from X amid growing outrage.
Musk clapped back at Media Matters, referring to the liberal watchdog as an "evil organisation". In another post, he said, “The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.”
X CEO Linda Yaccarino also took to X, saying, "X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board.”
What does the lawsuit say?
The lawsuit filed in a Texas court claimed Media Matters "manipulated" X by using accounts that exclusively followed accounts for major brands or users known to produce fringe content, and "resorted to endlessly scrolling and refreshing" the feed until it found ads next to extremist posts.
In the lawsuit X claimed that Media Matters misrepresented the typical experience on the social media platform "with the intention of harming X and its business.”
On Tuesday, Yaccarino posted on X, “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. 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,” she added.
Media Matters hits back
Calling the lawsuit "frivolous" in an emailed statement, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said it was "meant to bully X's critics into silence", reported Reuters.
"Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court," he added.