Los Angeles, US, Nov 20 (EFE).- Elon Musk’s X on Monday sued media watchdog nonprofit Media Matters over its recent analysis claiming that advertisements of large companies appeared on the platform alongside white-nationalist and neo-Nazi content.
The report appeared to have played a part in large brands pausing advertising on X.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, and requests compensation for damages, as well as the removal of the article.
“Media Matters knowingly and maliciously manufactured side-by-side images depicting advertisers’ posts on X Corp.’s social media platform beside neo-Nazi and white-nationalist fringe content and then portrayed these manufactured images as if they were what typical X users experience on the platform,” the lawsuit says.
X claims Media Matters only followed 30 users on the account it used to make the report, noting that the account’s “excessive scrolling and refreshing generated between 13 and 15 times more advertisements per hour than would be seen by a typical user, essentially seeking to force a situation in which a brand ad post appeared adjacent to fringe content.”
In addition, the complaint also names the writer of the article, Eric Hananoki, as a defendant.
The analysis displayed screenshots of neo-Nazi posts alongside ads from Apple, Xfinity, Bravo, Oracle and IBM.
News of the lawsuit coincided with the announcement that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will investigate Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity.
“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,” the Republican said Monday in a statement.
Media Matters president and CEO Angelo Carusone said on X that “this is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence. Media Matters stands behind its reporting and look forward to winning in court.”
The lawsuit comes days after Musk wrote on X that his company would file a lawsuit against Media Matters, following the release of the analysis last week detailing how ads of the platform’s top brands appeared alongside antisemitic and white supremacist rhetoric.
Large companies such as IBM, Disney, Lionsgate, Paramount and Apple later announced that they were pausing advertising on the platform.
Founded in 2004, Media Matters is a non-profit website launched by consultant and political commentator David Brock. EFE