Elon Musk’s social media platform, X, has taken legal action against left-leaning advocacy group Media Matters for America, accusing it of distorting data to harm the platform’s reputation.

The lawsuit contends that Media Matters deliberately crafted misleading images depicting advertisers’ posts on X alongside extremist content, such as Neo-Nazi and white-nationalist fringe material, in an effort to drive advertisers away and dismantle the platform.

The legal dispute follows Media Matters’ claims that X allowed antisemitic content, including Hitler quotes and Holocaust denial, alongside advertisements. Major companies, including Apple, Disney, IBM, and Comcast, paused their advertising on X following the release of Media Matters’ analysis.

In response to Musk’s threat of legal action, Media Matters labeled him a bully. The advocacy group asserted that X had hosted ads alongside content promoting Nazism, while Musk himself faced accusations of amplifying an antisemitic trope on the platform.

Filed in Texas on Monday, the lawsuit argues that Media Matters intentionally created a false narrative to undermine X’s standing, asserting that ads for Comcast, Oracle, and IBM only appeared next to offensive content when viewed by Media Matters and not by genuine X users.

X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, emphasized that no authentic X users had seen the mentioned ads next to offensive content, countering Media Matters’ claims.

In the wake of the controversy, additional companies, including the European Commission, Warner Bros Discovery, Paramount, and Lionsgate, withdrew their advertising from X. Musk pledged to pursue a robust legal response, describing it as a “thermonuclear” lawsuit against Media Matters and anyone involved in the alleged attack on X.

Media Matters President Angelo Carusone responded by asserting their confidence in winning any legal action, characterizing Musk as a bully attempting to stifle accurate reporting. Founded in 2004, Media Matters focuses on critiquing conservative commentators and media outlets, positioning itself as a non-profit organization dedicated to countering conservative misinformation.

Amid the escalating conflict, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity related to its allegations against X. Paxton criticized the liberal group as a “radical anti-free speech organization” and expressed a commitment to preventing deception by left-wing organizations seeking to limit public participation in the discourse.

On a separate note, the White House revealed that President Joe Biden would be joining Threads, a social media platform owned by Meta and positioned as a rival to X. Threads accounts have also been established for the first lady, vice-president, and second gentleman.

Last Updated: 21 November 2023