Elon Musk’s Media Matters trial will have a ‘chilling effect’

In the suit against MMFA, of the advertising industry aimed at preventing monetization around harmful content – ​​and that MMFA had “manipulated” the platform’s algorithm to return results that the suit claims are otherwise rare.

In response, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, claimed that “not a single authentic user on “. Yaccarino added that “only 2 users saw Apple’s ad alongside the content, at least one of which was Media Matters.”

But X users have conducted their own experiments, sharing screenshots Ads served alongside content are returned when users search for terms like “heilhitler” and “1488,” a hate symbol.

“Holy shit. If you search for HeilHitler you get a ton of ads. I literally just received the announcement from the German government “Come live in Germany” while searching,” user @ErinInTheMorn job. “Media Matters wasn’t lying.” WIRED has not been able to replicate these results and it appears that ads are no longer running against these and similar terms.

According to Ahmed, targeting nonprofits could backfire on Musk. “I think it’s really important that people understand that this is a man you’re doing business with and if you’re advertising on this platform, you’re essentially endorsing this behavior.”

Since Musk took over as CEO of

One of Musk’s first moves as owner was to fire nearly all of the company’s employees working on trust and safety, the roles that ensure that hate speech, misinformation, nudity, Violence and other inappropriate content remains off the platform. And as many experts feared, hate speech actually increased after Musk took office. In response, some advertisers have reduced their spending on X, fearing the platform poses high risk.

To try to turn things around, X brought in Linda Yaccarino, now CEO, an experienced advertising executive at NBCUniversal. But Musk remained at the center of Musk doesn’t take over. business.

Shannon Jankowski, acting director for U.S. free speech at the nonprofit PEN America, says X’s choice to file suit in Texas amounts to “arbitrarily choosing a place known to be conservative, likely to favor Elon Musk and Texas also has no laws in place that prevent “strategic anti-public participation lawsuits” or SLAPP suits, she adds, meaning it will be more difficult for the MMFA to do so. dismiss the case or recover X’s legal fees.

“These organizations could be put out of business if they tried to get rid of these lawsuits,” Jankowski says.

But whether or not X’s trial succeeds, or whether the Texas attorney general’s investigation achieves anything, Jankowski fears it could hamper future accountability work. “If he can just file a frivolous lawsuit in a conservative court and then potentially trigger investigations at the government level, that’s really going to deter organizations from wanting to engage in this work.”

William Turton contributed reporting.

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