Elon Musk’s X/Twitter Sues Media Matters After Advertiser Exodus, Alleging ‘Blatant Smear Campaign’ by Research Group
21.11.2023 - 03:35
Todd Spangler NY Digital Editor Elon Musk, as promised, is hauling Media Matters into court — alleging the liberal watchdog group “knowingly and maliciously manufactured” images depicting neo-Nazi and white-nationalist posts on X next to major marketers’ ads. The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages, as well as an injunction requiring Media Matters to “immediately delete, take down or otherwise remove” the article titled “As Musk endorses antisemitic conspiracy theory, X has been placing ads for Apple, Bravo, IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity next to pro-Nazi content.” Media Matters reps did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.
On Nov. 16, Media Matters released research finding that five major brands — Apple, IBM, NBCUniversal’s Bravo, Oracle and Comcast’s Xfinity — had their ads run next to posts that “tout Hitler and his Nazi Party” on X.
A day later, Media Matters published a report claiming that it found ads for Amazon, NBA Mexico, NBCUniversal Catalyst, Action Network and Club for Growth next to white nationalist hashtags like “KeepEuropeWhite,” “white pride,” and “WLM” (“White Lives Matter”). According to X’s lawsuit, Media Matters aimed to portray the Musk-owned social platform “as being dominated by ‘white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories,'” per the complaint.
“This November alone Media Matters released over twenty articles (and counting) disparaging both X Corp. and Elon Musk — a blatant smear campaign.” Media Matters “exclusively followed a small subset of users consisting entirely of accounts in one of two categories: those known to produce extreme, fringe content, and accounts owned by X’s big-name advertisers,” the X lawsuit says.
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