Elon Musk-owned social media giant X has filed a lawsuit against progressive watchdog group Media Matters for defamation in connection with a report alleging that X’s platform had been hosting and promoting pro-Nazi and antisemitic content.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accuses Media Matters of purposefully distorting its findings in a report published in October 2023, which claimed that X’s algorithms were more likely to recommend extremist content to users than other social media platforms.
X’s lawsuit alleges that Media Matters’ report was based on a “flawed and unscientific methodology” and that the group’s conclusions were “false and misleading.” The company also claims that Media Matters’ actions were motivated by a desire to “damage X’s reputation and business.”
“Media Matters has a long history of publishing false and misleading reports about X,” the lawsuit states. “This report is just another example of Media Matters’ agenda-driven journalism.”
In a statement, Media Matters defended its reporting and said that X’s lawsuit was an attempt to silence criticism of the company.
“X is trying to intimidate us with this lawsuit,” said Media Matters’ president, Eric Hananoki. “But we will not be silenced. We will continue to hold X accountable for its role in promoting hate speech and extremism.”
The lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal battles that X has faced in recent months. The company has also been sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly making false and misleading statements about its driverless car technology.
The lawsuit against Media Matters is likely to be closely watched by other social media companies, which are also facing increasing scrutiny over their handling of extremist content.