X Corp, the social media platform acquired by Elon Musk, has initiated legal action against Media Matters for America. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accuses the liberal media watchdog of defamation. The contention arises from a report by Media Matters, which highlighted how advertisements from major brands were displayed alongside antisemitic content on X.
The complaint alleges that Media Matters manipulated X’s system by using a secret account with atypical user behavior, such as following only 30 users and generating an abnormally high number of advertisements. X argues this created a misleading impression that ads frequently appeared next to objectionable content. The lawsuit follows Musk’s public announcement on X, where he termed the impending legal action as a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and its collaborators.
Media Matters President Angelo Carusone responded, dismissing the lawsuit as frivolous and an attempt to silence critics. The organization stands firm on its reporting.
This legal battle comes amid controversies surrounding Musk’s management of X, including accusations of engaging in antisemitic rhetoric. The platform, previously known as Twitter, has seen major advertisers like IBM and Disney withdraw, and the EU halt its advertising. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also announced an investigation into Media Matters, echoing Musk’s claims of data manipulation. Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, defended the platform, emphasizing the rarity of the ad-content pairings highlighted by Media Matters.