Elon Musk's X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, has filed a lawsuit against nonprofit watchdog Media Matters over a report that found advertisements shown next to Neo-Nazi posts.
“Media Matters designed both these images and its resulting media strategy to drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp.,” the company said in a complaint filed Monday in federal court, per multiple outlets.
The lawsuit accused Media Matters of a “blatant smear campaign" after Apple, IBM, Disney, Comcast/NBC Universal, Lions Gate Entertainment, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Paramount all confirmed that they are pausing or completely pulling advertisements on X.
Advertising nosedives on X
The report and subsequent advertiser exodus came after Musk was widely criticized for agreeing with a post pushing white-supremacist conspiracy theories, which stated in part: "Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them."
Musk replied: "You have said the actual truth."
After being called out by multiple users and organizations, including the White House, Musk doubled down and began attacking the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), accusing the Jewish advocacy group of pushing "de facto anti-white racism [and] anti-Asian racism."
Musk has since denied accusations that he is anti-Semitic, stating that "nothing could be further from the truth." He claimed that the report was a "fraudulent attack" on the company and free speech, despite the advertisers exercising their own First Amendment rights by choosing not to associate with the platform.
Musk's suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages, and is demanding that Media Matters take down its report. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, seemingly backed Musk when he announced Monday that he will be opening an investigation into Media Matters. Paxton suggested that the company fraudulently manipulated data on X, but has not put forth evidence supporting his claims.
"Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate. Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified,” Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said in a statement, later adding, “Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”
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