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Musk threatens ‘thermonuclear lawsuit’ as X ad boycott gathers pace



Elon Musk said on Saturday that he will file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against non-profit watchdog Media Matters and others, as companies including Disney, Apple and IBM reportedly have paused advertising on X amid an antisemitism storm around the social media platform.

Media Matters, a U.S. group that describes itself as “a progressive research and information center” that monitors “media outlets for conservative misinformation,” published earlier this week research showing that X has posted ads appearing next to pro-Nazi posts.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino previously said that brands are now “protected from the risk of being next to” potentially toxic content on the platform.

“The split second court opens on Monday,” Musk said in a post on X on Saturday. “X Corp will be filing a thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company,” he said.

Musk also posted a statement with the headline “Stand with X to protect free speech” where he said that Media Matters “completely misrepresented the real user experience on X.” He also said that “for speech to be truly free, we must also have the freedom to see or hear things that some people may consider objectionable” and added that “we will not allow agenda driven activists, or even our profits, to deter our vision.”

Musk, owner of Tesla and Space X, who bought Twitter last year and renamed it X, was already under fire for tolerating and even encouraging antisemitism on the social media platform. The latest episode was this week when Musk endorsed an antisemitic post on X as “the actual truth” of what Jewish people were doing.

The antisemitic post said that “Jewish communties (sic) have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” The post also referenced “hordes of minorities” flooding Western countries, a popular antisemitic conspiracy theory.

The White House condemned the post, recalling that the post Musk was responding to referred to a conspiracy theory that motivated the man who killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018.

The companies suspending advertising on X include Disney, IBM, Apple, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. Discovery, according to media reports.

In Brussels, the European Commission’s communications department has asked all EU executive services to stop running ads on X over “widespread concerns relating to the spread of disinformation,” according to an internal note seen by POLITICO’s Playbook.





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