Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has initiated an investigation into Media Matters following allegations of “potential fraudulent activity” related to its reports attacking Elon Musk’s X/Twitter.
The Texas Tribune reports that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has opened an investigation into Media Matters, the leftist media watchdog group, for alleged “potential fraudulent activity.” This move comes in the wake of accusations by X/Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who claimed the group manipulated data on the social media platform.
The controversy began after Media Matters published a report accusing X/Twitter of displaying advertisements from prominent companies next to “white nationalist hashtags.” Musk, however, contended that the watchdog group grossly misrepresented the actual user experience on X/Twitter, supposedly to mislead advertisers. This misrepresentation led to a mass exodus of advertisers from the platform, including major names like IBM, Apple, Disney, Lionsgate, and Paramount. In response, Musk vowed to launch a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against Media Matters.
As Breitbart News reported, Musk and X/Twitter accused Media Matters of manipulating data to produce a smear job report:
The company accuses Media Matters of manipulating the public and advertisers by curating its timeline to “misinform advertisers about the placement of their posts.”
X alleges that of the 5.5 billion ad impressions served on the platform on the day Media Matters released its report accusing the platform of displaying ads next to “pro-Nazi” content, just 50 total ad impressions were displayed next to the content cherrypicked by the nonprofit.
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
The investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s office is grounded in concerns over public deception by radical leftist organizations. Paxton’s office emphasized the importance of ensuring that the public is not misled by such groups, who might seek to limit freedom of expression. The investigation will be conducted under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, with the state taking a firm stance against fraudulent activities by nonprofits.
This situation is not isolated to Texas. Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey also expressed interest in the matter, indicating a growing legal scrutiny of Media Matters’ actions. The broader implications for social media and political discourse are significant, as this case may set precedents in how watchdog groups are perceived and regulated.
The controversy also overlaps with other challenges faced by Musk and X. Recently, Musk was accused of agreeing with an antisemitic comment on the platform, though he firmly denied these allegations, emphasizing X/Twitter’s policy against promoting genocide or extreme violence.
Read more at Texas Tribune here.