Elon Musk X platform is taking a swing at Media Matters, launching a lawsuit after the group’s report flagged antisemitic and pro-Nazi content on the site. It’s a move following a massive ad exodus from the platform last week.
Lawsuit Hitting Back
Elon Musk, the owner of X, is suing Media Matters, pointing fingers at their analysis that highlighted troubling content on X, which sparked the ad pullout by big companies. The lawsuit accuses Media Matters of messing with how likely ads are to show up next to extreme content on X. Musk claims the testing done by Media Matters didn’t show what real users actually see on the platform.
Media Matters in the Spotlight
Watchdog. The lawsuit doesn’t just name Media Matters but also Eric Hananoki, a senior reporter there. Musk wants Media Matters to take down their analysis and accuses them of messing with X’s contracts with advertisers, causing economic disruptions, and unfairly talking bad about X.
Media Matters Claps Back
Media Matters isn’t backing down. Their president, Angelo Carusone, calls the lawsuit a bully tactic, standing by their report and saying they’re ready to fight it out in court.
X CEO’s Defense
Linda Yaccarino, X’s CEO, chimes in, backing the platform. She says the report didn’t reflect what real users saw regarding big brands’ ads alongside troubling content.
Texas Attorney General Joins In
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants a piece of the action too. He’s looking into Media Matters, suggesting their study on X might be fishy under Texas law. He labels Media Matters a “radical left-wing organization” aiming to limit public speech.
Major Companies Pull Ads
This all started after big brands, including Disney, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Discovery, stopped their ads on X. It happened when Musk backed an antisemitic claim about Jewish communities spreading hate against white people.
Musk’s Threats and Allegations
Musk teased this lawsuit earlier, threatening a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and anyone involved in what he called a fraudulent attack on X. His argument seems more about Media Matters creating a test account to push X’s ad systems into showing major brands’ ads next to extreme content. Musk says this doesn’t happen in the real world.
Experts Weigh In
Legal experts aren’t impressed. They say Musk’s move is more about making a statement than having a strong case. Filing in Texas, where Musk might get a friendlier court, seems like a strategic move.
They’re critical of X’s stance, acknowledging that ads were indeed seen beside hateful content but claiming it was rare. It’s a tactic similar to what got YouTube to restrict political content a few years back.
Ken White, a First Amendment lawyer, thinks Musk chose Texas federal court to avoid laws that could stop this lawsuit as a way to silence critics.
The Case Ahead
This lawsuit is now in the hands of District Judge Mark Pittman, known for making significant calls in previous legal battles. His past rulings have stirred national attention, making this clash between X and Media Matters one to watch.