X sues media watchdog for report on antisemitism and ads
Elon Musk's X is suing Media Matters claiming that the media watchdog manipulated its feed, causing major brands' ads to appear next to antisemitic content.
Elon Musk's social media company X on Monday, 21 October, sued media watchdog group Media Matters, alleging the organization had defamed the platform.
Media Matters had published a report claiming ads for major brands had appeared alongside neo-Nazi and white nationalist posts.
X said the report aimed to "drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp."
IBM, NBCUniversal and its parent company Comcast said last week that they had stopped advertising on X after the Media Matters report.
This was a new setback for X, which gets most of revenue from advertisements.
The platform, formerly known as Twitter, claims Media Matters misrepresented the typical experience on X, with the intention of harm.
What does the lawsuit say?
The lawsuit, filed in a US District Court in Texas, 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.
Media Matters, a Washington DC-based nonprofit, has called the lawsuit "frivolous."
The nonprofit's president, Angelo Carusone, said the lawsuit was "meant to bully X's critics into silence," and that he was looking forward to winning the case.
X said in the lawsuit that ads for IBM, Comcast and Oracle only appeared alongside hateful content for one viewer, which the social platform claimed was Media Matters.
The Media Matters report said ads from Apple and Oracle were also placed next to antisemitic material on X. It also said it found ads from Amazon, NBA Mexico, NBCUniversal and others next to white nationalist hashtags.
Since Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion (€40 billion) in October 2022, several advertisers have fled the platform due to Musk's controversial posts and layoffs.
The ad revenue for X has declined at least 55% year-over-year each month since Musk's takeover, reported Reuters.