Missouri’s Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey has accused leftist propaganda organization Media Matters of “defrauding” consumers with its attacks against Twitter/X and the platform’s owner Elon Musk.
Media Matters is a George Soros-funded anti-conservative activist organization that poses as a fact-checker-come-media watchdog group.
The nonprofit uses its vast resources to smear critics of the Left and shut down conservative viewpoints online.
Recently, the organization has been attacking X and Musk by pressuring the company’s advertisers to abandon the platform until it resumes the practice of censoring conservatives.
On Monday, Bailey sent a letter to Media Matter to alert the leftist group to his opening of an investigation into the firm for “potentially unlawful business practices.”
Media Matters in November published a report of sorts that said X would place ads next to “pro-Nazi” content.
Musk responded by filing a lawsuit against Media Matters.
He accuses the group of falsely and deceptively manipulating the algorithm on X “through coordinated, inauthentic behavior” in an attempt to “defame the organization and cause advertisers to pull their support from the platform, thus harming free speech,” Bailey notes in his letter.
Bailey said that in addition to what Musk alleges in his lawsuit, Bailey has reason to believe that Media Matters violated Missouri consumer protection laws.
That includes laws that prohibit nonprofit entities from soliciting funds under false pretenses.
“I am especially concerned that 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,” Bailey said.
After Media Matters published its report, companies like IBM, Disney, Apple, Sony, and Walmart, among others, pulled their advertisements from the social media platform.
According to Bailey, Musk’s lawsuit alleges that Media Matters “lied to the public, falsely suggesting that fringe, extremist content regularly appears next to content from corporate advertisers when in fact the opposite is true.”
“At the same time, you appear to have used this coordinated, inauthentic activity to solicit charitable donations from consumers across the country,” he said.
In light of his probe, Bailey instructed Media Matters to preserve all records that relate to an “alleged effort to engage in coordinated, inauthentic behavior on social media platforms in order to generate false statements that were used to solicit charitable contributions under false pretenses.”
“Be advised that any failure to preserve documents of probative value to this case, even if inadvertent, will constitute spoliation of evidence and may result in a finding of contempt from the court or in sanctions,” Bailey said.