According to a filing, the social media company X, which was formerly known as Twitter and is now controlled by Elon Musk, has launched a lawsuit against Media Matters and the writer responsible for the report in question, Eric Hananoki, for publishing what X deems to be a “intentionally deceptive report” regarding antisemitism on the site.
The mission statement of the non-profit organization Media Matters, which has its headquarters in Washington, reads as follows: “monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
The inquiry into “potential fraudulent activity” by Media Matters was begun on the same day that the filing was made by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Paxton issued a statement in which he stated that his office was conducting an investigation into the matter “to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square.” Paxton made this comment in response to a question about why the investigation was being conducted.
On Thursday, Media Matters published a report written by Hananoki that includes screenshots of mainstream commercials that were displayed next to pro-Nazi content on the website X. As a result of this, a large number of companies, including IBM, Apple, and Disney, stopped running advertisements.
This is a growing list of firms that have pulled their advertisements from X.
According to the lawsuit filed by X, which alleges interference with contract, business disparagement, and interference with potential economic gain, some of X’s major sponsors are among the companies who have decided to cancel their advertisements.
According to the allegations presented in the lawsuit, Media Matters attempted to influence the results of the X algorithm by first following 30 accounts that consisted solely of contentious persons and significant companies, followed by “excessive” scrolling and refreshing of the page.
According to the complaint, “the overall effect on advertisers and users was to create the false and misleading perception that these types of pairings were common, widespread, and alarming.” This perception was created by giving advertisers and users the impression that these types of pairings were ubiquitous.
The safety protocols of X “under normal, organic conditions operate seamlessly,” according to the report.
X provided The Washington Post with a post written by company CEO Linda Yaccarino in response to the publication’s request for a comment. In the post, Yaccarino stated that “Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article.” There were only two viewers that noticed the advertisement for Apple adjacent to the content, and at least one of those users was Media Matters.
In an X post that was reposted by Hananoki, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone stated that the filing was “a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence” and that Media Matters stood by the reporting. Carusone also stated that Media Matters supported the story. A request for comment from Media Matters was not immediately met with a response from the organization.
Antisemitism was on the rise on the internet. After then, Elon Musk’s X gave it a turbocharge.
Although the company is incorporated in Nevada and has its major place of business in San Francisco, the lawsuit was submitted in Texas, a state where the filing stated X does considerable business.
On Wednesday, Musk tweeted his agreement with a user who had posted an antisemitic conspiracy theory stating that Jews fostered “hatred against whites.” Under the message, the billionaire commented, “You have said the actual truth,” which was a move that was highly criticized, including by the White House.
The accusation that he was antisemitic was refuted in a later article in which he stated that “nothing could be further from the truth.”