- X, owned by Elon Musk, sued Media Matters over a report claiming Nazi content was next to major brand ads; Texas and Missouri launched related investigations
- Lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, removal of critical article, and alleges false portrayal of typical X content
- Report prompted some advertisers to pause spending; lawsuit criticized as frivolous free speech threat, though X doesn’t dispute some Nazi content exists
X, the social media company owned by Elon Musk, has filed a lawsuit against Media Matters for America and one of its staff members over a recent investigative report. The report claimed that Nazi content was running on the X platform next to ads from major corporations.
Texas and Missouri Launch Investigations
The lawsuit comes as the attorneys general of Texas and Missouri announced investigations into Media Matters over possible fraudulent activity relating to the report. They claim the organization may have intentionally deceived the public.
Lawsuit Seeks Removal of Article and Damages
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Media Matters and an order requiring the organization to remove the critical article from its website. Media Matters’ president said the website will defend itself against what it calls a “frivolous” lawsuit.
Lawsuit Alleges False Portrayal of X
The lawsuit alleges that Media Matters’ portrayal of the X platform is untrue and does not reflect what typical users see. It claims Media Matters “manufactured” images to falsely depict advertisers’ content next to Nazi and white nationalist material on X.
Report Led Advertisers to Pause Spending
According to the lawsuit, Media Matters published the misleading report with the intention of harming X’s advertising sales. The report did prompt several major advertisers to pause their ad spending on the platform.
Lawsuit Makes Several Legal Claims
The lawsuit makes claims of intentional interference with contracts, business disparagement through false statements, and unlawful interference. As a public figure, X and Musk would need to prove Media Matters acted with actual malice.
Critics Call Lawsuit Frivolous
Some legal experts criticize the lawsuit as a frivolous attempt to chill free speech. They say it is ironic for a self-described “free speech warrior” like Musk to take this approach. The lawsuit aims to penalize and take down commentary protected under the First Amendment.
X Does Not Dispute Some Nazi Content Exists
Notably, Musk and X do not actually dispute that some Nazi material exists on the platform. Musk has defended this content previously on free speech grounds. The lawsuit takes specific issue with Media Matters’ claim that hate speech is commonplace for the average user.
The fight over X’s content moderation and ideology continues to escalate. This lawsuit represents a major new front between Musk and his prominent critics in progressive media. The court battle could have serious implications for free speech limits and consequences.