Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, is getting into a bit of a tiff with the news media. It seems that they are not too happy about some claims made by Media Matters regarding ads appearing next to some really unsavory content.
Last Thursday, Media Matters published an article showing screenshots of major companies like IBM, Apple, and Oracle having their ads pop up alongside some pretty hateful stuff. We’re talking full-on pro-Hitler nonsense here. Not exactly the kind of thing you want your brand associated with.
IBM and Apple were quick to pull their ads from X after this revelation. Can’t blame them; who wants to be caught cozying up to Hitler enthusiasts? This has only added insult to injury for X as it’s already been hemorrhaging advertisers left and right. And let’s not forget that Musk himself seemed to have a soft spot for sharing some rather questionable views on social media.
This whole mess got Elon all riled up over the weekend. He promised that when court opened on Monday, there would be a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters and anyone else involved in this “fraudulent attack” on his company.
The lawsuit was indeed filed, but it turned out to be more like a damp squib than anything nuclear. You can read it if you want; it’s quite short actually. The crux of the matter is that X is accusing Media Matters of defamation because they allegedly “manufactured” or “contrived” those images showing the ad placements next to hateful content.
Now if those images had truly been manufactured or created in secret as suggested by X’s lawyers, then yes – that would seriously undermine Media Matter’s credibility big time! But hold onto your hats folks because here comes the plot twist – turns out CEO Linda Yaccarino posted today saying “only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content,” which directly contradicts what was claimed about creating these pairings secretly!
Media Matters did set things up so those ads appeared by using an older account (no ad filter), following only hateful accounts along with corporate accounts of advertisers – well played guys! Sure enough though, those pesky ads showed up right where they weren’t supposed to be despite everything being carefully orchestrated by Media Matters.
X also pointed fingers at these accounts supposedly known for producing extreme fringe content but didn’t bother demonetizing them until after Media Matters called them out on it! So basically X knew what was going on but chose not do anything about it until someone shone a spotlight on their shady practices!
Moderating hate speech online isn’t easy peasy lemon squeezy; we get that! Social networks are constantly battling against new mutations of hateful hashtags and slang popping up all over the place like weeds in a garden gone wild! Yaccarino tried telling everyone earlier how brands were safe from being near any nasty stuff…well apparently she wasn’t entirely accurate now was she?
Sure this situation might seem like an outlier compared to regular user experiences but hey – guess what? It still happened didn’t it? Advertisers aren’t exactly lining up around the block eager for their products being linked with neo-Nazis and tech giants no matter how slimy sweet Elon tries making things sound!
And speaking of slimy sweetness…apparently other companies mentioned in this drama such as Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony claim they never even pulled any ads because of this fiasco according Mr.X’s legal team- oh boy talk about trying hard huh?
But wait there’s more…the cherry on top: This lawsuit demands $100k in damages plus jury trial action…but honestly neither outcome looks promising at all does it?
So there you have folks – another day another billionaire tantrum thrown over something he probably should’ve just shrugged off instead!