X (Formerly Twitter) Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Media Matters for America

Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has filed a federal defamation lawsuit against left-wing media watchdog Media Matters for America. The 15-page complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accuses Media Matters of creating misleading images that depict advertisements from major corporations alongside posts by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. X alleges that Media Matters intentionally manufactured these images to portray the platform as dominated by ‘white nationalist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.’

The lawsuit, filed on Monday, comes in response to a report released by Media Matters last Thursday, prompting an exodus of advertisers, including Disney, Apple, Paramount, and IBM. X claims that Media Matters knowingly and maliciously manipulated screenshots, falsely presenting them as a representation of typical user experiences on the platform.

In the lawsuit, X provides details on how it believes Media Matters obtained the screenshots for the report. It alleges that Media Matters accessed accounts that had been active for at least 30 days, bypassing X’s ad filter for new users. The media watchdog then selectively followed a small subset of users, including those known for producing extreme content and accounts owned by X’s major advertisers.

X contends that Media Matters manipulated its feed to generate side-by-side ad/content placements, aiming to create a false narrative about the platform. The lawsuit claims that despite these efforts, Media Matters resorted to continuous scrolling and refreshing of its unrepresentative, hand-selected feed to achieve the desired result: controversial content next to X’s largest advertisers’ paid posts.

Journalist Michael Shellenberger attempted to replicate Media Matters’ methods but reported that he was unable to observe ads next to white nationalist or pro-Nazi content on the platform. Chris Pavlovski, CEO of Rumble, a free-speech competitor to YouTube, also accused Media Matters of misrepresenting Rumble.

Media Matters has not yet responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

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