December 1, 2023
Ax sues media over research on ads ahead of anti-Semitic posts

X, the social media service formerly known as Twitter, sued Media Matters in federal court on Monday after the advocacy organization published research showing that ads on appear to.

Last week a post by Elon Musk endorsing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, which he wrote the day before Media Matters research was published, sparked an exodus of advertisers, from companies such as IBM, Apple, Warner Bros. Discovery and Sony. Major brands halted their spending. On the stage.

X rejected Media Matters’ findings, saying they were not representative of the regular user experience on the platform. On Friday, Mr Musk promised a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and its supporters.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, claims that Media Matters tried to damage X’s relationships with advertisers. “Media Matters manipulated the algorithms governing the user experience on that these pairings are anything but what they really are: manufactured, inorganic and exceptionally rare,” X’s lawyers wrote in the complaint.

Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said in a statement, “This is a frivolous lawsuit whose purpose is to intimidate X’s critics into silence.” He said his organization “stands behind its reporting and looks forward to victory in court.”

On Monday night, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also announced that his office would launch an investigation into Media Matters for “potential fraudulent activity.”

Brands have been hesitant to advertise on X because Mr. Musk bought the company a year ago and has said he would relax its content-moderation policies. The X has tried to bring hesitant advertisers back to the stage, an initiative that has long been overseen by advertising executive Linda Yakarino, who became the Chief Executive of X in June.

But Mr Musk’s post on Wednesday, in which he agreed with an Stop doing that”, was a shock.

“You are absolutely right,” Mr. Musk replied For post.

Jewish groups immediately condemned Mr Musk’s statement of support and compared it to the “Great Replacement Theory”, a conspiracy theory that claims minority Jews are replacing the white European population as part of a coordinated effort. Taking. The White House condemned Mr Musk’s comments, and top-tier brands immediately pulled their advertising from Ax.

Mr Musk said In a post on Sunday The claim that he was anti-Semitic was false. He wrote, “Nothing can be further from the truth.”

In his lawsuit, X asked the court to order Media Matters to remove his published research. The lawsuit also seeks unspecified monetary damages and attorney’s fees.

Ms Yaccarino said in a statement that the In Apple’s case, he said, its ad was placed next to an anti-Semitic post and was seen by another user.

“If you know me, you know I am committed to truth and fairness,” Ms. Yaccarino said in a post on x, “Wins on data manipulation or allegations. Don’t be clever. Stand with X.”

During an all-staff meeting on Monday, Ms. Yaccarino said she had discussed the issue with advertisers and was committed to defending Ax, according to audio of the meeting heard by . In those conversations, he said, some advertisers had asked him to be more conversational about the problems and share more data about how ads are displayed on the platform.

“We look forward to working with all of our colleagues who stand with us and believe in the power and necessity of free speech,” Ms Yaccarino said. “Sometimes in life and in business, standing up for your values ​​is really the defining thing that makes leaders, and we will keep that going forward. No critic can ever deter us from our mission to keep fighting and defend freedom of expression,

In the roughly 30-minute meeting, Ms. Yaccarino focused blame on media matters and did not address Mr. Musk’s support of anti-Semitic posts.

He encouraged employees to be frugal during a period of decreased revenue due to advertisers pausing and to think of ways the company could bring in more money.

“I would say be as fiscally responsible as possible,” the chief executive told her staff. “And it’s on the spectrum of important and necessary travel to be a good manager of anything that might be expense-related in the company.”


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