Social media platform X has officially filed a lawsuit against liberal media watchdog group Media Matters.
The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division, is in response to a Thursday story published by the group claiming a series of legacy companies were placing ads on X despite the social media platform publishing “pro-Nazi content.”
X's lawsuit alleges Media Matters "knowingly and maliciously manufactured" images depicting X advertisers appearing next to posts featuring "Neo-Nazi and white nationalist fringe content."
"Media Matters designed both these images and its resulting media strategy to drive advertisers from the platform and destroy X Corp.," reads the lawsuit.
"X facilitates free expression and open discourse by enabling its users to create and share their own content and to message and comment on other users’ posts," the lawsuit continues. "These posts appear sequentially to users in 'feeds,' which occasionally include paid advertisements—the overwhelming source of X Corp.’s revenue."
The lawsuit stresses "users shape their own experiences on X," as content feeds are curated based off which accounts users follow.
"Most users are served a variety of content based on an algorithm that takes account of who that user follows and what that user engages with," the lawsuit cites. "But X also provides its users the option to forgo algorithmically suggested posts altogether, thereby enabling a user to view only the content that user chooses to view."
The lawsuit claims Media Matters has published "a series of articles" which seek to threaten the social media platform's relationship with "massive multinational advertisers and global publishers" including the likes of Amazon, Major League Baseball (MLB), and T-Mobile among others.
"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 suit further alleges.
According to internal investigations by X, the liberal media watchdog group has accessed accounts active for at least 30 days to bypass the platform's ad filter for new users. Media Matters reportedly "exclusively followed a small subset of users consisting entirely of accounts" which produce "extreme fringe content" along with other accounts owned by X's aforementioned advertisers.
"The end result was a feed precision-designed by Media Matters for a single purpose: to produce side-by-side ad/content placements that it could screenshot in an effort to alienate advertisers," the lawsuit claims.
Media Matters proceeded to generate between 13 to 15 times more advertisements per hour than viewed by average X users, according to X.
"Media Matters omitted mentioning any of this in a report published on November 16, 2023 that displayed instances Media Matters 'found' on X of advertisers’ paid posts featured next to Neo-Nazi and white-nationalist content," the suit continues. "Nor did Media Matters otherwise provide any context regarding the forced, inauthentic nature and extraordinary rarity of these pairings."
Following the publication of Media Matters’ story, legacy outlets including Apple and IBM began pulling ads from the platform.
X owner and tech mogul Elon Musk announced the “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters in a Thursday post to the platform.
The lawsuit claims Media Matters’ story “completely misrepresented the real user experience on X.”
A series of influential accounts and independent media personalities began pledging to purchase ads on X in response to the boycott by legacy companies, including Seth Dillon of the Babylon Bee and Timcast owner and CEO Tim Pool.
Former professional kickboxer Andrew Tate also pledged to purchase $1 million per month worth of ads on X.
Other notable personalities pledging to purchase ads on the platform include podcasters Benny Johnson and Jeremy Hambly of The Quartering among others.