Monday’s lawsuit comes as Musk and X, facing specific allegations that they approved and promoted anti-Semitic content on the platform, attempt to quell a recent exodus of advertisers.
The complaint claims that an internal investigation found that Media Matters used accounts for its research that bypassed “X’s ad filter for new users” and only followed accounts “known for producing extreme and fringe content” and ” accounts belonging to major X advertisers.”
The complaint further alleges that Media Matters “resorted to endless scrolling and refreshing of its unrepresentative, hand-selected feed…until it finally received pages containing the desired result: content controversial next to the paid publications of the biggest advertisers of
Shortly after Musk filed the lawsuit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has previously aligned himself with the tech mogul, announced that his office would open an investigation into “fraudulent activity potential” by Media Matters.
In a statement after the trial, Carusone said “this is a frivolous lawsuit designed to intimidate critics of X into silence. Media Matters stands by his reporting and looks forward to winning in court.
Musk – the world’s richest person and owner of Tesla and SpaceX – pledged this weekend to file a “thermonuclear trial” against Media Matters, a self-proclaimed “progressive research and information center” that says it monitors “conservative misinformation”, in response to the X advertising boycott.
Media Matters published a report last week alleging that
This research challenged previous claims by X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who said brands were now “protected from the risk of being next to” potentially toxic content on the platform.
The battle with Media Matters also comes as Musk — the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, who bought Twitter last year and then rebranded it — has been criticized for what some have called tolerant and, at times, encouraging of anti-Semitism on the social media platform. . Musk himself appeared to express support for an anti-Semitic tweet as follows: “the real truth» about what Jews were doing in the midst of Israel’s war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
The White House strongly condemned the message, and the tweet was seen as a precipitating factor in the advertising exodus the company has seen in recent days.
Rebecca Kern contributed to this report.