Categories: MarketingSocialMedia

Musk Vows ‘Thermonuclear’ Lawsuit Against Nonprofit

Elon Musk said X (formerly Twitter) planned to file a “thermonuclear” lawsuit against Media Matters on Monday as a number of advertisers paused spending on the social media platform in response to the watchdog’s reporting of their ads being displayed alongside extremist content.

“The split second court opens on Monday, X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company,” Musk wrote on X.

He added a document alleging that the instances reported by Media Matters were not representative of the real user experience on the platform, with in some cases the Media Matters account being only one of two users, or the only user to view the advertisements alongside the example posts.

Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist” and the document said X aimed above all to protect free speech.

Image credit: Elon Musk/X/Twitter

Extremist content

Media Matters called Musk a “bully”.

“Far from the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate. Musk admitted the ads at issue ran alongside the pro-Nazi content we identified. If he does sue us, we will win,” said Media Matters president Angelo Carusone.

Media Matters’ reporting found advertisements from IBM, Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), Oracle, and Comcast Xfinity alongside posts praising Hitler and Nazis.

IBM, Comcast Paramout Global, Warner Bros Discovery, Disney, Apple and Lionsgate were amongst the firms pausing their advertising on X.

Musk in September threatened a lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League, but so far has not filed one.

In July X/Twitter sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), alleging the watchdog was “actively working to prevent free expression” by drawing attention to controversial posts.

‘Ridiculous’

The company also alleged the CCDH had broken its terms of service and US hacking laws through its methods of scraping data.

Last week the US-UK nonprofit filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the “ridiculous” lawsuit was aimed at silencing X’s critics.

The CCDH filed a strike motion under California’s laws that aim to prevent strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs, which are lawsuits that aim to place a financial burden on a critic in order to quell public expression.

“This lawsuit is an attempt to censor, intimidate, and silence the CCDH,” the group said in a statement.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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