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Left-wing group 'defrauding' consumers with 'pro-Nazi' smear of Elon Musk: Republican state AG

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has opened a probe into Media Matters, saying the left-wing group committed "unlawful business practices" related to Elon Musk and X.

Missouri Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey has taken aim at Media Matters for America amid the liberal group's dispute with Elon Musk, owner of X, formerly Twitter.

Bailey on Monday sent a letter to the progressive media watchdog group to alert it 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. Elon Musk filed a lawsuit against Media Matters, saying the group falsely and deceptively manipulated 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, including laws that prohibit nonprofit entities from soliciting funds under false pretenses.

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"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, Walmart, among others, pulled their advertisements from the social media platform.

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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."

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"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.

Media Matters did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment by time of publication.

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