Tech billionaire Elon Musk said his company will file a massive suit against Media Matters for America and other organizations for a “fraudulent attack on our company.”
Musk’s threat comes after several companies began pulling ads from his X platform, formerly known as Twitter.
The wave of departures started Thursday after the billionaire owner engaged with antisemitic rhetoric on the platform. The same day, Media Matters — a liberal media watchdog group — published an investigation showing that major advertisers had their ads shown alongside white supremacist content.
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“The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company,” Musk wrote on X.
A statement attached to his post alleges the Media Matters report “completely misrepresented the real user experience” on the platform in an attempt to “mislead advertisers.”
The company further claimed the group’s reporters curated an account to view white supremacist content and “repeatedly refreshed their feeds to find rare instances of ads” next to the content. Musk’s post added that of the 5.5 billion ad impressions on the site daily, just 50 were on the specific pieces of content highlighted by Media Matters in their report.
X has struggled for months with revenue after half of the company’s top advertisers left following Musk’s takeover in late 2022. Advertisers have been wary of the platform since he loosened content restrictions — open the door for more hateful content on the platform.
Musk has emphasized X as a “free speech platform,” which the company doubled down on in the statement Saturday.
“Without freedom of speech, we lose the checks and balances critical to a thriving democracy,” the company said. “We must defend our individual rights as if our lives, and flourishing society, depend on it.”
“If you’re really in on protecting free speech, then we all need to protect it completely,” the statement continued.
Media Matters derided the lawsuit threat in a statement Saturday.
“Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate,” president Angelo Carusone said. “Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. If he does sue us, we will win.”