It is in the news that Elon Musk's social media platform X has sued Media Matters a media watchdog group. Media Matters has published multiple reports about X alleging adverts for major companies have appeared next to "controversial content", particularly far right and antisemitic content as I understand it.
From the complaint I THINK what happened is Media Matters curated an account's activity such that is was likely to get these pairings of advertisements with controversial content. This involved using an account that had been active for at least 30 days and exclusively followed a small subset of users consisting entirely of accounts in one of two categories: those known to produce extreme, fringe content, and accounts owned by X’s big-name advertisers. They then did lots of scrolling and refreshing, probably automated, and took screenshots whenever the right pairing came up. They reported the eventual pairings, but not the method they used to generate them. This is claimed to have been intensional with an aim to harm X’s revenue stream.
There is an answer here that seems to explain roughly how this could be successful:
Further, certain statements might be literally true but defamatory by implication or by omission. For instance, a newspaper story saying "Ms. Newton shot Ms. Nichols after walking in on her with Mr. Newton" may be defamatory if Ms. Newton walked in on Ms. Nichols, Mr. Newton, and several other people having a pleasant discussion around the dinner table, rather than walking in on Ms. Nichols and Mr. Newton having sex. Memphis Pub. Co. v. Nichols, 569 S.W.2d 412, 419-20 (Tenn. 1978) (“The clear implication of the article is that Mrs. Nichols and Mr. Newton had an adulterous relationship and were discovered by Mrs. Newton, thus precipitating the shooting incident. ... The published statement, therefore, so distorted the truth as to make the entire article false and defamatory. It is no defense whatever that individual statements within the article were literally true.”)
Assuming I have got the gist of the argument correct, and X is claiming Media Matters made true but defamatory statements, what would X have to demonstrate? Would it be the that the general public was misled, would it be that the internet marketing professionals who made the decisions to put the adverts were misled or would it be that Media Matters knew the truth but thought one or other of those groups would be misled? Would it be a case of proving one or more were in fact misled and/or that that outcome was likely?
The case is filed in Texas, but answers for any jurisdiction would be interesting.