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Media Matters sued by Elon Musk’s X over ad controversy, billionaire asserts ‘first of many’

Liberal media advocacy group Media Matters is being sued by Elon Musk’s X Corp for allegedly manipulating its algorithms and fabricating posts to drive away advertisers. A lawsuit was filed in a US federal court in Texas. It was quoted by the NYT as stating: “Media Matters has manipulated the algorithms governing the user experience on X to bypass safeguards and create images of X’s largest advertisers’ paid posts adjacent to racist, incendiary content, leaving the false impression that these pairings are anything but what they actually are: manufactured, inorganic and extraordinarily rare,”

Media Matters has reported that corporate ads from Oracle, IBM, Apple, and Comcast’s Xfinity were appearing together with antisemitic content on X. Musk seems livid with this media watchdog and while responding to a post mentioning the lawsuit by his social media platform X against the watchdog, Musk asserted it was only the first of many lawsuits to be filed against it.

Linda Yaccarino (X CEO) also launched an indirect attack on Media Matters after a lawsuit was filed by X Corp. She wrote about 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 Matters. Data wins over manipulation or allegations. Don’t be manipulated. Stand with X”

Angelo Carusone (Media Matters president) said in a statement quoted by the Times, “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence… stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.” Just last week Media Matters had reported that it had noticed corporate ads from IBM, Oracle, Apple and Comcast’s Xfinity appearing along with anti-Semitic content.

Elon Musk’s antisemitism controversy:

Musk had validated a post on X that wrongly claimed that Jewish people were fuelling hostility towards white people. He unhesitatingly agreed with the user who cited the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, saying that the user was stating “the actual truth.”

Taking note of Musk’s controversial post, many advertisers including Disney, Apple, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Comcast, IBM, Paramount and Warner Bros pulled their ads from the platform. The move came at a time when it seemed that X CEO Linda Yaccarino and Elon Musk were finally getting successful in building a perception that advertisers had returned to the social media platform after exit following the billionaire’s $44 billion acquisition of the company in October last year.

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