What’s happening: Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) recently filed a defamation lawsuit against Media Matters, accusing the left-wing activist group of intentionally circulating misinformation in an attempt to drive advertisers away from X.
- The report: Media Matters recently published a report alleging advertisements from major companies were appearing next to “pro-Nazi content” on X.
Pushing back: X argues Media Matters manipulated algorithms to make it appear as if the phenomenon was far more widespread than it actually is: the report “knowingly and maliciously” skewed the data to fabricate a “typical X users experience on the platform.”
Hot water: This all comes in the wake of a tweet Musk recently posted in which he seemed to agree with an X user who suggested Jewish communities “push hatred against whites.” Musk later clarified he was referring to the Anti-Defamation League.
- Backlash: That didn’t stop many high-profile antisemites from amplifying Musk’s original statement, and even celebrating that he was one of them. Major companies such as Apple, IBM, Disney, and Comcast announced they would pause ads on X because of the controversy surrounding the Media Matters report and Musk’s tweet.
- Still, a number of well-known conservative Jews, including Ben Shapiro, Chaya Raichik, and Bill Ackman, defended Musk against allegations of antisemitism.
Between the lines: When Elon Musk took the reins at X, he promised to end widespread censorship on the platform. That meant those who were previously banned can now actively use X. Musk’s goal of absolute free speech means some unpalatable ideas like antisemitism, which seems to be on the rise on X, will be allowed.
- Why it matters: Elon Musk’s control of X ahead of 2024 is causing panic among liberals and Democrats who previously benefited from government-coordinated censorship on the platform. The specter of truly free speech is a vulnerability for Musk — one liberals are now trying to exploit to damage the platform.