Elon Musk’s X Sues Media Watchdog Over Accusations of White Supremacy
WASHINGTON — The world’s richest man fired back Monday against his accusers who say he supports white supremacy by filing a lawsuit against the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America.
He says in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas that Media Matters’ false accusations are hurting the business of X Corp. — formerly known as Twitter — by driving away big name advertisers.
Media Matters published an article Nov. 16 that said, “As X owner Elon Musk continues his descent into white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories, his social media platform has been placing ads for major brands like Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast) next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.”
The article showed screenshots of neo-Nazi and white supremacist images beside ads from major companies. Since then, Apple, IBM and NBCUniversal announced they are halting their ads on X.
The X lawsuit says the Media Matters article is “false, defamatory and misleading.”
“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,” the lawsuit says.
Media Matters called the lawsuit frivolous and an attempt to silence its reporting.
On the same day X filed its lawsuit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced an investigation into Media Matters for “potentially fraudulent activity.” He said he wanted “to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations.”
The Media Matters article was partly motivated by an X post from Musk a day earlier as he responded to a user’s social media message criticizing Jewish people.
The user wrote, “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”
Musk responded with a post saying, “You have said the actual truth.”
The lawsuit filed in Dallas says Media Matters’ failure to report accurately in its article served its true purpose “to tarnish X’s reputation by associating it with racist content. So instead, Media Matters chose to maliciously misrepresent the X experience with the intention of harming X and its business.”
The lawsuit also revived a 2016 presidential campaign controversy known as Pizzagate.
It took only one word from Musk to reawaken memories of the conspiracy theory about a pedophilia ring operating out of a Washington, D.C., pizza shop.
“Weird,” wrote Musk about a post on X.
Musk was responding to an X user who posted a message linking the founder of Media Matters to the owner of Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Northwest Washington.
His “weird” comment on display for his roughly 160 million X followers drew attention once again to false allegations that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and other high-ranking Democrats were affiliated with a pedophilia ring operating out of Comet Ping Pong.
Conspiracy theorists who obtained leaked emails from the Democratic leaders said in social media posts that they contained coded messages about a satanic human trafficking and child sex ring. The posts appeared on Twitter, Reddit and 4chan.
A self-appointed vigilante from North Carolina drove to Comet Ping Pong to investigate the allegations. He fired a rifle shot inside the restaurant to break a lock on a storage room door, prompting a police response that led to a four-year prison term for the man.
News reports referred to the debunked pedophilia story as Pizzagate.
The lawsuit is X Corp. v. Media Matters for America in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.