By Adi Robertson , a senior tech and policy editor focused on VR, online platforms, and free expression. Adi has covered video games, biohacking, and more for The Verge since 2011.
X, formerly Twitter, has followed through with owner Elon Musk’s threat to sue the left-leaning nonprofit Media Matters. Media Matters reported last week that X “has been placing ads for major brands” like Apple and IBM “next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.” Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have dubbed the report unrepresentative of X’s general user experience. Several companies nonetheless pulled ads after that report and Musk’s direct endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory — and Musk’s lawsuit claims Media Matters is legally liable for X’s loss.
Nearly simultaneously, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton opened an investigation into Media Matters for “potential fraudulent activity.” Musk posted the news on his X account, stating that “fraud has both civil and criminal penalties.” Musk had previously responded to a tweet by former Trump advisor Stephen Miller that suggested conservative attorneys general (like Paxton) look into fraud charges.