Missouri Attorney General Probes Media Matters’ Twitter Advertising

(Daily360.com) – The self-proclaimed watchdog group Media Matters is being investigated by the Missouri attorney general for possible duplicitous tactics. Media Matters is a left-wing activist group that has long targeted right-wing programs on television and radio for sponsor and activist boycotts. The group has most recently aimed at Elon Musk and his X (formerly Twitter) platform.

Musk is suing Media Matters, accusing the outlet of manipulating the Twitter algorithm to generate sponsor ads on questionable content, then alerting that sponsor and urging them to pull their ads. Whatever technique Media Matters was using seems to have only worked on their own Twitter account. The pairings of “bad” or “problematic” tweets next to paid ads could not be replicated by other entities. Media Matters would show a tweet that had “objectionable” content to a sponsor with their ad below it; by this method they were able to get a number of sponsors to pull their Twitter ad buys.

Elon Musk has been very vocal lately promising to fight Media Matters and other companies doing similar targeting. Musk’s lawsuit alleges Media Matters created tortuous interference, meaning the company targeted Twitter specifically to undermine the business.

Musk is not alone in his views. Andrew Bailey, the Attorney General for the state of Missouri, has launched an investigation into Media Matters and their methods and motives. Bailey tweeted his official letter of investigation along with comments outlining potential fraud committed by Media Matters that he believes MM used as a means to solicit donations. Bailey referred to Media Matters as a potential “enemy of free speech” that he believes may have targeted Twitter specifically because of the freedom of speech it has given users since Musk bought the platform.

Bailey is forcing Media Matters to preserve their documents and to be prepared to explain their actions relating to Twitter and its algorithms. Bailey is trying to connect Media Matters’ actions to depriving residents of his state of their free speech on the platform.

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