On Monday, social network giant X sued media watchdog group Media Matters, charging that the organization defamed the platform after publishing a report alleging that ads for big companies appeared next to messages praising Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.
Since Media Matters published the research on Thursday, X, previously Twitter, has faced mounting backlash, prompting IBM, Comcast, and numerous other advertisers to drop advertisements from the site in protest.
In the lawsuit, X claimed that Media Matters “manipulated” the social media platform by using accounts that only followed accounts for major brands or users known to produce fringe content, and that it “resorted to endlessly scrolling and refreshing” the feed until it found ads next to extremist posts. According to the complaint, Media Matters’ article distorted the usual X experience “with the intention of harming X and its business.”
In an emailed statement, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone called the lawsuit “frivolous” and claimed it was “meant to bully X’s critics into silence.” “Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court,” he said in a statement. Carusone told Reuters earlier on Monday that the nonprofit’s results contradicted X’s claims that it had implemented safety safeguards to prevent advertisements from appearing next to hazardous content. “Ads abound when you search for white nationalist content.” “The system they claim exists does not work,” he stated.
In the complaint, X claimed that advertising for IBM, Comcast, and Oracle only showed hostile content for one viewer, whom it identified as Media Matters. “Data triumphs over manipulation or accusations.” Don’t let yourself get manipulated. “Stand with X,” X CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeted on Monday.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Monday that his agency is investigating Media Matters and that he is “extremely troubled” by claims that the organization distorted statistics on X.
Since Musk paid $44 billion for Twitter in October 2022, a steady stream of advertisers have departed the network, scared of Musk’s controversial remarks and the layoffs of workers who tried to monitor material.
According to Reuters, the platform’s ad income in the United States has fallen by at least 55% year on year since Musk’s acquisition.
In a statement to workers on Sunday, Yaccarino stated that while some advertisers had stopped their investments following the release of the study, the firm had been open about its efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination