Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced Sunday that his office will review allegations against the far-left outlet Media Matters. The organization is believed to have manipulated data to mislead followers and convince major advertisers to dump X, formerly Twitter.
This followed X owner Elon Musk revealing Saturday that he will launch legal action against Media Matters. He is understandably upset over reports the “watchdog” claimed his social media platform positioned advertising adjacent to Nazi-affiliated posts.
Apple, IBM, and other major sponsors paused their business with X over the allegations.
Attorney General Andrew Bailey is looking into Media Matters for driving false impressions to create a hit piece against Elon Musk's 𝕏 which led to many tech giants canceling advertising on the platform.
— TaraBull (@TaraBull808) November 19, 2023
Musk threatened what he termed a “thermonuclear lawsuit” after Media Matters “completely misrepresented the real user experience on X” with the intent of chasing advertisers away.
The tech billionaire said the outfit used an alternate account and repeatedly refreshed timelines. In this manner, they “contrived” an instance of ads appearing beside content they chose to see.
Bailey took exception to this apparent manipulation, saying his legal team was “looking into the matter.” Some experts believe the company’s actions constitute civil or criminal wrongdoing.
Musk’s internal research showed that out of 5.5 billion ad impressions on the day Media Matters collected its data, under 50 came near the content the leftist organization chose to highlight.
The rarity was so obvious that, according to Musk, an ad was seen next to the material the organization found objectionable by exactly one user — “the author of the Media Matters article.”
According to an X executive, the liberal group got exactly what it was looking for.
They explained, “Ads follow the people on X, in this case, the Media Matters research that was going to actively look for this content — that’s how user targeting works. As it relates to the platform itself, control settings are in place there for every user and every brand.”
The researcher, according to the X executive, sought posts that matched their criteria and then proceeded to “keep hitting refresh to capture as many brands as possible.”
Musk wrote a defense of free speech on X after the Media Matters hit piece. “But for speech to be truly free, we must also have the freedom to see or hear things that some people may consider objectionable.”