X Corp. Elon Musk has sued the media watchdog group Media Matters to lure advertisers from the social network formerly known as Twitter, describing it as full of anti-Semitic content.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Texas, X accuses the NGO of “tricking the algorithm into believing that Media Matters wanted to see both hateful content and content from major advertisers.”
Apple, Comcast, NBCUniversal and IBM are among the major brands that halted their advertising on X last week, after Media Matters reported finding ads showing pro-Nazi content.
“This is a pointless trial aimed at silencing X’s critics,” Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, said in response to a request for comment from AFP.
“Media Matters stands by its information and expects to win its case in court,” he added.
The White House also accused Elon Musk on Friday of making a “vile promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred” in one of his X posts.
The billionaire responded Wednesday to the account owner, who wrote that Jews encourage “hate against white people,” with the message: “You spoke the exact truth.”
For Washington, the message merely repeats a popular conspiracy theory among white nationalists, according to which Jews have a secret plan to promote illegal immigration to Western countries to harm the white majority.
The complaint filed Monday makes no mention of Elon Musk endorsing this conspiracy theory, instead blaming Media Matters for recent advertising losses.
“Media Matters knowingly and maliciously fabricated images depicting advertising messages on the X Corp. social network alongside neo-Nazi and white nationalist content, and then presented these fabricated images as if they were the typical X user experience” , according to the complaint.
X asked the court to sanction Media Matters by asking it to pay damages in an unspecified amount and to take down its information.
Since taking the reins at Twitter a year ago, Elon Musk has eased content moderation, reinstated previously suspended extremist accounts and allowed users to pay for account verification, helping them capitalize on viral posts, but often inaccurate.