Facebook, Google Pour Big Money into Lobbying Congress While Blacklisting Conservatives

Saturday, May 4, 2019
By Paul Martin

by SEAN MORAN
BREITBART.COM
3 May 2019

Facebook and Google increasingly influence Congress as the social media giants censor conservative and alternative voices, dominate the Internet, and violate Americans’ privacy.

Facebook announced on Thursday that they have banned several conservative personalities such as Infowars host Alex Jones, Infowars contributor and YouTube personality Paul Joseph Watson, journalist and activist Laura Loomer, and Milo Yiannopoulus. The social media giant also banned Louis Farrakhan from its platforms.

Facebook said that they banned these personalities because they were “dangerous.”

Amid calls for greater regulation of social media companies’ potential anticompetitive behavior, censorship of conservative and alternative voices, and privacy violations, Facebook and Google have remained at the top of Open Secret’s database of top spenders lobbying Congress.

So far in 2019, Facebook spent $3,400,000 and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, $3,530,00 in lobbying Congress. Alphabet also ranked as the eighth total highest spender in lobbying in 2018, spending $21,740,000, while Facebook spent $12,620,000.

Facebook’s influence has continued to rise over the years. In the early years of President Barack Obama, Facebook spent below one million dollars in 2008 and 2009. From 2011 to 2018, Facebook’s lobbying spending skyrocketed and reached historic highs in 2018, when they spent $12.6 million.

In 2019, Facebook lobbied heavily on H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, a Democrat bill which would restore the Obama-era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) net neutrality regulations, which arose as the result of Google’s heavy lobbying of the Obama administration. In 2019, Google also lobbied on the Save the Internet Act.

In 2018, one of Facebook’s bills on which they lobbied Congress was H.R. 2520, the Browser Act, sponsored by then Rep. and now Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), which would require social media companies such as Facebook and Google to obtain explicit permission from users for collecting their private data. The Browser Act would also stipulate that these social media companies cannot deny services to users who do not opt-in to these companies’ collection of their private data. In 2017, the Browser Act was the most important issue on Capitol Hill.

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