Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into the progressive nonprofit media watchdog group Media Matters for America over a potentially false report the company published about X and its advertising practices.
On Monday, the social media site acquired by Elon Musk last year filed a lawsuit against Media Matters in federal court after the advocacy group released a report showing research that found ads on the site X appeared next to anti-Semitic content.
The report, coupled with a post written last week by Musk that appeared to support a post claiming that Jews spread cultural hatred against whites, caused a new wave of advertisers to pause their spending on the platform.
Brands such as Apple, IBM, Warner Bros. Discovery and Sony have suspended their advertising spending on the platform.
X rejected Media Matters’ claims, arguing that they did not reflect the average user experience. On Friday, Musk assured followers that a “fusion lawsuit” against the advocacy group and its supporters would be coming soon.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and alleges that the progressive organization knowingly attempted to harm the company’s relationships with advertisers.
X dropped ‘thermonuclear’ lawsuit against Media Matters for America after progressive organization released study showing company placed ads next to anti-Semitic content
“Media Matters manipulated the algorithms that govern X’s user experience to bypass security and create images of paid posts from X’s largest advertisers alongside racist and inflammatory content, leaving the false impression that these connections are not what they actually are: manufactured, inorganic and extremely rare.” – wrote X’s lawyers.
In a statement responding to the lawsuit, Media Matters CEO Angelo Carusone rejected the validity of the lawsuit.
“Tihis is a frivolous lawsuit intended to force X’s critics into silence.”
He added that the organization “stands by its reports and looks forward to winning in court.”
Just hours after the lawsuit was filed, Paxton’s office announced an investigation into the organization’s “potential fraudulent activity.”
A statement from his office announcing the investigation said: “Attorney General Paxton was extremely concerned by allegations that Media Matters, a radical anti-free speech organization, fraudulently manipulated data on X.com.”
Paxton said: “We are investigating this issue carefully to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the plans of radical left-wing organizations that want nothing more than to limit freedom by restricting participation in public life.”
Since Musk’s dramatic takeover of the company formerly known as Twitter, brands have been hesitant to advertise on the X as Musk has made clear he will relax content moderation practices.
Following a controversial post on X last week in which Musk agreed with a report claiming that Jewish communities spread “white hatred, claiming they want people to stop using it against them,” Jewish groups were quick to condemn the SpaceX founder.
On Sunday, Musk wrote that claims that he is anti-Semitic could not be “further from the truth.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday that he has opened an investigation into Media Matters over a potentially false report
X CEO Linda Yaccarino – a well-connected advertising executive – said during a staff meeting that she had discussed the ongoing issue with X advertisers and was working to alleviate the situation
The lawsuit filed against Media Matters asks the organization to remove the published research, as well as unspecified monetary damages and attorneys’ fees.
Linda Yaccarino, who was hired by Company X as CEO in June and is a well-connected longtime advertising executive, said the information published by Media Matters reflects the experience of only one account.
“If you know me, you know that I attach importance to truth and honesty,” she said in a statement. “Data wins over manipulation and accusations. Don’t be manipulated. Stand with X.
On Monday, Yaccarino told X employees that she had spoken to advertisers about the issue and remained committed to defending the company.
New York Times reported that, she said, X wants to “work with all of our partners who stand with us and believe in the power and necessity of free speech.”
“Sometimes in life and business, standing up for your values is what truly defines leaders. We’re going to stick with it and keep moving forward. “No critic will ever dissuade us from our mission to continually fight for and protect free speech,” she continued.
She focused the blame for X’s current major issue on media issues and did not address Musk’s post. She also encouraged employees to limit their business expenses to only what was absolutely necessary.