Elon Musk Accuses Media Matters of Manipulating Algorithm
Missouri Attorney General, Eric Bailey, has launched an investigation into the nonprofit organization Media Matters following allegations made by entrepreneur Elon Musk. Bailey’s probe is centered around claims that Media Matters violated consumer protection laws and engaged in deceptive practices to defame a social media platform and deceive donors.
In November, Media Matters released a report accusing the platform, known as X, of placing advertisements next to “pro-Nazi” content. Musk responded by accusing Media Matters of falsely manipulating the algorithm on X through coordinated and inauthentic behavior. He claimed that the organization’s intentions were to harm free speech by causing advertisers to withdraw their support.
The lawsuit filed by Musk also alleges that Media Matters misled the public by suggesting that extremist content regularly appeared alongside corporate advertisements on the platform, when in reality, the opposite was true. This false representation caused several major companies, including IBM, Disney, Apple, Sony, and Walmart, to withdraw their advertisements from the social media platform.
Violation of Consumer Protection Laws
Bailey’s investigation goes beyond Musk’s claims and suggests that Media Matters violated Missouri consumer protection laws. One specific law prohibits nonprofit entities from soliciting funds under false pretenses. If proven true, these actions would not only harm free speech but also defraud individuals in the state of Missouri.
Expressing concerns over the potential impact on free speech, Bailey stated, “Media Matters’ actions, if proven true, have hampered free speech by targeting an expressly pro-free speech social media platform in an attempt to cause it financial harm while defrauding Missourians in the process.”
Preservation of Evidence
As part of his investigation, Bailey has instructed Media Matters to preserve all relevant records pertaining to the alleged coordinated and inauthentic behavior on social media platforms. Failure to comply with this request, even unintentionally, may result in consequences such as finding the organization in contempt of court or facing sanctions.
Despite multiple attempts, Media Matters did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the matter.
The investigation by the Missouri Attorney General’s office will shed light on the allegations made by Elon Musk and determine whether Media Matters engaged in deceptive practices that harmed free speech and violated consumer protection laws.