X, formerly known as Twitter, filed a federal defamation suit Monday in Texas against Media Matters for America, accusing the media watchdog group of kicking off an advertiser exodus with a “derogatory” article alleging the social network that top brands will display ads near antisemitic and pro-Nazi posts.
The liberal-leaning media watchdog allegedly curates a feed specifically for fringe accounts and those belonging to corporations like IBM, Comcast, Apple, and Oracle, then displays screenshots of offensive posts. that appeared near the company’s ads in a critical article, according to the lawsuit.
The Media Matters analysis, published last week, also said that X owner Elon Musk has increasingly started a “descent of white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories.”
The lawsuit does not dispute that some of the brands’ previous ads were shown near inflammatory content.
Instead, it suggests Media Matters played X to create highly unlikely pairings that are often analyzed by the service’s advertising tools, saying that a disastrous match appears for “only one viewers (out of more than 500 million) of all X: Media Matters .”
“None of the real users of the X platform saw IBM’s, Comcast’s or Oracle’s ads next to that content, which Media Matters achieved only by manipulating X’s algorithms,” the suit continued.
“Essentials of the Media DOING these matches are secret, creating the damaging perception that X is at best an incompetent content moderator (a damning accusation for any social media platform), or worse that the X in a way indifferent or even encouraging the Nazi and racist ideology, “the suit. argue elsewhere.
Media Matters said The Independent in a statement that its analysis of X and its content policies remain valid.
“This is a frivolous lawsuit intended to bully X’s critics into silence,” Media Matters President Angelo Carusone said in the statement. “Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”
X’s top executives have railed against Media Matters in recent days.
“If you know me, you know that I am committed to truth and fairness. Here is the truth,” Linda Yaccarino WRITES at X on Monday. “Not one real X user has ever seen IBM, Comcast, or Oracle ads next to a Media Matters article. Only 2 users saw the Apple ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media Matters. Data wins over manipulation or allegations.”
Mr Musk, on the other hand, called the organization “pure evil” in an X post by itself.
Apart from the disputed accuracy of the Media Matters report, Mr Musk has openly endorsed a right-wing X conspiracy theory in recent days, prompting criticism that he is promoting antisemitism .
On Wednesday, the billionaire owner of X responded with a tweet echoing the claims of the racist and often antisemitic “great replacement” theory, including Jews “flooding” America with “minority hordes” to promote “dialectical hatred against whites.”
Mr. Musk called the claim that “the actual truth.”
The theory referenced in the original post was one of the hateful ideas directly referenced by the gunman who killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, the deadliest antisemitic attack in the history of US.
“At a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and spreading around the world, it is undeniably dangerous to use one person’s influence to validate and promote antisemitism theories,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League civil rights group. , which monitors antisemitism and other forms of extremism, wrote X in response to Mr Musk.
The White House also weighed in, saying that the tech CEO contributed to the spread of “disgusting promotion of antisemitic and racist hatred.”
“It is unacceptable to repeat the horrific lie behind the deadliest act of antisemitism in American history at any time, much less a month after the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust,” the White House said. in a statement.
The Independent Mr Musk was contacted during the backlash against his response to the post and did not receive a response.
Amid the controversy, Mr Musk has defended X’s content policies and appeared to mock critics who say the network harbors hateful content.
Last week, he IMPARTED a clip of a man playing a video game level called “Echo of Hatred,” with the caption “defeating hate is never easy.”
“Clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension,” he WRITES elsewhere in X on Friday.
This summer, a study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate said X failed to pick up 99 percent of a selection of hate content flagged by the group. The group said that “the platform allows them to break its rules with impunity and even algorithmically boosts their toxic tweets.”