The progressive organization Media Matters for America, accused by conservatives of being a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, was officially sued by the social media company "X," belonging to magnate Elon Musk.
The lawsuit alleges that the organization used deceptive tactics to manipulate X's algorithm to fabricate an attack article against the social media company that scared away several big-name endorsers.
The lawsuit comes after Media Matters published an article titled: "X has been placing ads for Apple, Bravo, IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity next to pro-Nazi content."
X refuted the organization's assertions and explained the progressive group's apparent modus operandi in maliciously manufacturing the article.
According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Fort Worth Division of the Northern District of Texas, Media Matters “manipulated” X's platform using accounts that exclusively followed accounts of big brands or fringe users who produce extremist content.
Then, according to X, Media Matters "resorted to endlessly scrolling and refreshing" the feed until it found ads for these large companies alongside extremist anti-Semitic publications.
The Media Matters article caused several companies, including IBM, Apple, Disney, Lionsgate and Paramount, to stop advertising their content on X, which is one of the social media company's main sources of income.
According to X, the progressive organization misrepresented the typical experience at X “with the intention of harming X and its business.” Therefore, the company sues Media Matters for America for defamation, interference with business relations and interference with possible economic advantages.
Musk's company is seeking damages, a court order forcing Media Matters to remove the article, attorneys' fees and other compensation.
The CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino, who has been pressured by outside factors to resign, defended Musk's company in a statement on Monday.
“If you know me, you know I'm committed to truth and fairness,” she wrote. "Here's the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article. Only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media Matters. Data wins over manipulation or allegations. Don't be manipulated. Stand with X.”
If you know me, you know I'm committed to truth and fairness. Here's the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article. Only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media…
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) November 20, 2023
Texas investigates Media Matters
After news of the lawsuit emerged, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that he opened an investigation into Media Matters for “potential fraudulent activity” following accusations of manipulating X data.
“We are examining the issue closely 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 said.
Meanwhile, the attorney general's office said: “Under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the OAG will vigorously enforce against nonprofits who commit fraudulent acts in or affecting the state of Texas.”