Last week, Media Matters, a non-profit organization, revealed how X (Twitter) was displaying ads from major brands like Apple and IBM next to posts that glorified Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Subsequently, several advertisers pulled their ads from X in response to the report.
Now, X has filed a lawsuit against Media Matters, arguing that the report is a smear campaign that does not reflect the typical user experience on X. X owner Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino claim that Media Matters deliberately manipulated X’s algorithms to create the appearance of a link between the advertisers and the extremist content, via The Verge. The lawsuit seeks damages for the loss of revenue X will incur because of advertisers leaving the space.
“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,” reads the lawsuit.
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
The lawsuit coincides with an investigation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton into Media Matters for possible fraud activity. Musk praised Paxton’s move in a tweet, saying that “fraud has both civil and criminal penalties.”
Media Matters, on the other hand, has dismissed the lawsuit as an attempt to silence it. Its president, Angelo Carusone, said that Media Matters stands by its reporting and is confident that it will prevail in court. “We are going to continue our work undeterred. If he sues us, we will win,” said Carusone. “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence. Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court,” as shared by The Verge.
Yaccarino, on the other hand, has downplayed the impact of the controversy on X’s business. She told her employees that she had productive conversations with some advertisers who had paused their campaigns and that she expected them to resume their partnership with X soon, as shared by Fortune.
Via: The Verge