UPDATE: Jessica Sutherland
Well, the X lawsuit wasn’t filed the “split second court opens on Monday” and it’s not particularly “thermonuclear,” Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner writes:
[T]his latest lawsuit is a farce designed to cover up the real source of X’s revenue loss. The biggest factor driving advertisers away from the platform is simply Musk and his support of racism and antisemitism. It was Musk’s own endorsement of an antisemitic post that sent major advertisers running for the door, not the Media Matters report. And this is far from the first time. In the past, Musk has supported the “blood libel” conspiracy theory and blamed Jews for antisemitism.
Any reasonable judge would throw this out in a heartbeat, but since Musk’s team has carefully court-shopped this suit to a conservative district in Texas, don’t be surprised if it hangs around much longer than it should.
Elon Musk’s bigotry is on full display this week, and as Daily Kos’ Hunter wrote Friday, the billionaire, who bought Twitter last year and renamed it X, is facing some serious consequences.
Musk’s vile views aren’t just quarantined to his personal posts, of course. They’re integrated into how he runs his social media platform. X is bleeding money, but rather than change his behavior, apologize, or try even a little to rid his little blue-check playground of the sort of content X CEO Linda Yaccarino calls “lawful but awful,” Musk doubled down Saturday, threatening the media outlet whose exposé triggered a mass advertiser exodus.
And that outlet, Media Matters, firing back.
RELATED STORY: Elon Musk has turned Twitter into a cesspit of right-wing disinformation
First, a little background, courtesy of Hunter.
Musk endorsed a post that blamed "Jewish communities" for pushing "dialectical hatred against whites.” It also referred to the white supremacist conspiracy theory that "western Jewish populations" are behind the "flooding" of countries with "hordes of minorities."
"You have said the actual truth," Musk publicly replied.
X [has become] such a home for neo-Nazi extremism that advertisements from Apple, IBM, and other major companies often run beside posts praising Adolf Hitler and Nazism and advocating Holocaust denial.
IBM was the first to respond to Media Matters for America's proof that the Fortune 500 company’s ads were being paired with pro-Nazi content. In a statement, IBM said that it "immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation."
As CNN noted Friday evening, IBM was the first, but not the last.
A torrent of prominent brands halted their advertising on X on Friday, dealing a massive reputational blow to Elon Musk’s social media company after his public embrace this week of an antisemitic conspiracy theory favored by White supremacists.
The high-profile advertiser revolt includes some of the world’s largest media companies, such as Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent of CNN.
X also reportedly lost Apple, according to multiple news outlets including Axios, which first reported Apple’s withdrawal.
What’s a massive social media platform to do in the face of all this? Ban the Nazis, you might be thinking.
A spokesperson for X said the pro-Nazi accounts identified in Thursday’s Media Matters report would no longer be eligible for monetization, meaning ads would no longer be run on those pages.
But there’s more. Early Saturday morning, Musk took to X to threaten Media Matters and ask his eight-dollar army to “stand with X.” He also vowed that X Corp would file a “thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters.” He posted it along a screenshot of a little manifesto, which accused Media Matters of manipulating the platform to get the desired result: Pro-Nazi ads served next to prominent brands.
In response to Musk’s massive screed, Media Matters Angelo Carusone offered a short, if scathing, response.
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.
Notably, this isn’t the first time Musk has gotten itchy when X is called out as a Nazi-friendly platform. He’s previously vowed to go after the Anti-Defamation League, whose research going back to May indicates there was lots more hate on the platform since Musk took it over … and new policies, like “freedom of speech, not reach,” allowed it to remain live.
Musk was mad about the ADL’s report in May, and he was still mad this fall. Via Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner, in September:
Elon Musk issued a series of statements in which he has blamed secret manipulation by a Jewish organization for the destruction of the X platform, which was once called Twitter. Saying the Anti-Defamation Leaguewas the “primary” reason for falling ad revenue at X, Musk first threatened, then later seemed to promise to sue for damages.
That’s right. After months in which Musk has supported racist rants; encouraged hate speech; elevated literal Nazi propaganda; fired every Twitter employee in Brazil on suspicion of being too liberal; fired the entire company press office and the entire company communications department; decimated the team responsible for content moderation; terrified advertisers with chaos, irresponsibility, and perpetuating racism; and thrown away global brand recognition by renaming the whole platform to indulge a personal whim, Musk has put his finger on the real issue.
It’s the Jews.
Back on X on Saturday, Musk acolytes predictably defended their billionaire messiah, taunting Media Matters and Carusone. And thanks to X’s policies, those basement-dwellers will likely be doing so all weekend.