X, formerly Twitter, has sued Media Matters after the organization’s research revealed ads on X alongside antisemitic content.
The move follows boss Elon Musk being accused of posting an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X the day before the research was published.
The billionaire has strongly denied the accusations.
The research has led to a significant advertiser exodus.
Major brands like IBM, Apple, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Sony have paused their spending on the platform.
The company disputes Media Matters’ findings, asserting they don’t represent a typical user experience.
The platform claims the organization manipulated algorithms to damage X’s advertiser relationships.
Elon Musk has pledged a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters, further intensifying the legal battle.
The lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas claims Media Matters sought to create false impressions of X’s largest advertisers’ paid posts adjacent to racist content.
Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, said: “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence.”
He said his organization “stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.”
Brands have been reluctant to advertise since Mr. Musk acquired the company a year ago and eased its content-moderation policies.
X, under the guidance of CEO Linda Yaccarino, has actively worked to attract back hesitant advertisers.
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However, Musk agreed with an X post which accuses Jewish communities of promoting “hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”
Musk replied to the post: “You have said the actual truth.”
Jewish groups condemn the statement
Jewish groups condemned the statement Musk endorsed, drawing parallels to the “Great Replacement Theory.”
The White House also criticized Musk’s remarks, leading top-tier brands to withdraw their advertising from X promptly.
Addressing the allegations on Sunday in a post on X, Mr. Musk denied accusations of antisemitism, writing: “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
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X seeks court orders for Media Matters to remove its research and demands unspecified damages and legal fees.
Yaccarino, defended the platform, saying: “If you know me, you know I’m committed to truth and fairness.
“Data wins over manipulation or allegations. Don’t be manipulated. Stand with X.”