Home Rumble sues two people connected to Media Matters on heels of X suit

Rumble sues two people connected to Media Matters on heels of X suit

Online video platform Rumble is cracking down on Media Matters with a new lawsuit targeting people connected to the left-leaning website.

The suit from the video-sharing platform, popular with free speech advocates, alleges the non-profit media watchdog group engaged in misleading and unethical practices to damage its business.

The lawsuit filed on Nov 29, centers around Media Matters’ alleged strategy of repeatedly refreshing controversial videos on sites it aims to take down to capture major brand advertisements running adjacent to the content.

According to Rumble’s recent court filings, two individuals who run ‘Check my ads’ created fake profiles, sought out objectionable user-uploaded videos, and refreshed the pages multiple times until they could capture screenshots showing ads from high-profile brands next to the offending content. The data they collected was then used by Media Matters to call on big brands to avoid Rumble.

Rumble said this strategy caused some brands, including Netflix, to pull their advertising spending on its platform after Media Matters showed them the controversially placed ads. The video platform called the tactics “unethical” and said the two defendants Nandini Jammi and Claire Atkin deliberately tried to damage sites it deemed controversial by orchestrating the ad placements.

Rumble’s legal action comes on the heels of the group’s parent company, X Corp, filing what owner CEO Elon Musk called a “thermonuclear” lawsuit against Media Matters last month. X Corp alleged Media Matters executed a similar “refresh” tactic on its platform to capture brand ads next to antisemitic content.

The lawsuit claims Media Matters then showed the screenshots to companies like Apple and IBM to prompt them to suspend their advertising partnerships with X Corp.

X Corp said Media Matters’ actions suppressed its free speech rights. Legal experts project X Corp may seek billions of dollars in damages from the media group.

Between the high-profile lawsuits from internet media giants Rumble and X Corp, Media Matters faces growing scrutiny and liability over its controversial editorial tactics. The non-profit will need to answer for its allegedly unethical practices in court in the months ahead.

Media Matters fights back

That’s not the end of the lawsuits. Media Matters is suing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after he opened an investigation into their reporting of  X.

In the lawsuit, the non-profit alleges that Mr Paxton’s “retaliatory” investigation is unlawful and violates its First Amendment rights.

Lawyers for Media Matters said: “The chill imposed by his retaliatory scheme injures Plaintiffs’ ability to investigate and publish news stories and further chills their ability to participate in a robust public discussion around political extremism on the X platform”.

In an interview with Reuters after Musk filed his lawsuit, Angelo Carusone, the Media Matters president, said the non-profit’s findings flew in the face of X’s statements that it had introduced safety protections to prevent ads from appearing next to harmful content.

“If you search for white nationalist content, there are ads flourishing. The system they say exists is not operating as such,” he said.

Featured Image: Pexels


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Radek Zielinski
Tech Journalist

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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