Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Monday he’s opening an investigation into Media Matters for “potential fraudulent activity.”
“Today I opened an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity after X CEO Elon Musk accused the left-wing media watchdog group of manipulating data on the social media platform,” Paxton said.
🚨 Today I opened an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity after X CEO Elon Musk accused the left-wing media watchdog group of manipulating data on the social media platform. https://t.co/oL1UPNXzeo
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) November 21, 2023
“Under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the OAG will vigorously enforce against nonprofits who commit fraudulent acts in or affecting the state of Texas,” a press release from Paxton’s office read.
“Attorney General Paxton was extremely troubled by the allegations that Media Matters, a radical anti-free speech organization, fraudulently manipulated data on X.com (formerly known as Twitter),” it read.
“We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” Paxton said.
Paxton’s investigation announcement follows Elon Musk filing a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and anyone who colluded in the alleged “fraudulent attack” on X Corp.
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 pic.twitter.com/55vl7PspaQ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2023
Fox News reports:
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is opening an investigation into Media Matters for “potential fraudulent activity” after X CEO Elon Musk accused the left-wing media watchdog group of manipulating data on the social media platform.
After a slew of advertisers, including IBM, Apple, Disney, Lionsgate and Paramount, fled X, formerly known as Twitter, Musk pledged to hit the watchdog group with a “thermonuclear lawsuit.”
Media Matters published a report on Friday accusing X of placing ads next to “white nationalist hashtags.” However, Musk believes that the group “completely misrepresented the real user experience” in order to mislead advertisers.
Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey posted on Sunday that his legal team was “looking into” the matter. Now, Paxton is launching an official investigation with his office after being “extremely troubled” by the allegations.
My team is looking into this matter.
— Attorney General Andrew Bailey (@AGAndrewBailey) November 19, 2023
“Elon Musk’s X Corp. sued Media Matters for America for defamation on Monday after the left-leaning nonprofit released a report on ads on X running next to pro-Nazi content and helped trigger an advertiser exodus,” Axios stated.
“If you know me, you know I’m committed to truth and fairness. Here’s the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article. Only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media Matters. Data wins over manipulation or allegations. Don’t be manipulated. Stand with X,” X CEO Linda Yaccarino said.
If you know me, you know I'm committed to truth and fairness. Here's the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article. Only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media…
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) November 20, 2023
Fraud has both civil & criminal penalties pic.twitter.com/BdC5Zfr1XM
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2023
“The media say X is placing Apple, IBM, and other ads near pro-Nazi content, but it’s not. We tried various ways to replicate Media Matters’ research and couldn’t. The real goal of Media Matters isn’t to fight antisemitism. It’s to destroy X as a free speech platform,” author Michael Shellenberger commented.
Musk called Media Matters “pure evil.”
Media Matters is pure evil https://t.co/9bdMWyczs6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2023
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division, alleged the organization’s tactics were manipulative and deceptive.
X alleged that Media Matters “exploited” the platform have ads appear this way, which included “excessive scrolling” and curating its feed with “fringe” content.
“The overall effect on advertisers and users was to create the false, misleading perception that these types of pairings were common, widespread, and alarming,” the lawsuit reads.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who has received messages from marketing leaders pushing for her to resign, defended the company in a statement on Monday.
“This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence. Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court,” Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said in a statement, according to Axios.