On Saturday, Elon Musk announced his intention to file a robust legal action, termed as a “thermonuclear lawsuit”, against nonprofit watchdog Media Matters and others. This comes in the wake of companies such as Disney, Apple, and IBM allegedly promoting their products on X amidst a controversy related to anti-Semitism on the platform.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Media Matters, a US group that identifies itself as “a progressive research and information center” monitoring “media outlets for conservative misinformation”, recently published research demonstrating X’s ads appearing alongside pro-Nazi content.
Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, had previously assured that brands are now secure from the potential risk of being associated with toxic content on the platform.
“The courts will be opened on Monday,” Musk stated in a post on X on Saturday. “X Corp will initiate a robust lawsuit against Media Matters and all involved in this deceitful attack on our company,” he declared.
Musk released a statement titled “Stand with X to protect freedom of speech”, accusing Media Matters of grossly misrepresenting the user experience on X. He emphasized the importance of being free to access potentially offensive content for the sake of truly free speech. He also vowed not to allow profit motivations to obstruct their vision.
Musk, the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, who acquired Twitter last year and rebranded it as X, had already been under fire for apparently condoning anti-Semitism on the platform. His recent defense of an anti-Semitic post on X as the “truth” attracted criticism.
The post in question stated that “the Jewish community (sic) are promoting exactly the same kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim they want people to stop using against them.” It also propagated the conspiracy theory of a “horde of minorities” infiltrating Western countries.
The White House condemned the post, pointing out that it referred to a conspiracy theory that had influenced the perpetrator of the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue attack.
According to reports, companies suspending their advertising on X include Disney, IBM, Apple, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros. Discovery.
In Brussels, the European Commission’s communications department has urged all EU executive services to halt advertising on X due to “broad concerns related to the spread of misinformation,” as per an internal note seen by POLITICO’s Playbook.