Facebook Paying Lobbying Group to Attack Senate Backed Social Media Expansion Legislation - The Jewish Voice
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Facebook Paying Lobbying Group to Attack Senate Backed Social Media Expansion Legislation

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Facebook Paying Lobbying Group to Attack Senate Backed Social Media Expansion Legislation

Edited by: TJVNews.com

Social media giant Facebook, now known as Meta, has some explaining to do. A recent report in the Daily Mail of the UK indicated that Facebook has been manipulating the fake news narrative by clandestinely hiring a lobbying group to plant op-eds in newspapers across the United States in order to skew media coverage.

The Daily Mail reported that a political advocacy group founded by Facebook that is known as American Edge has crafted a campaign in which antitrust legislation focused on raising the bar in terms of expanding competition in tech industry is routinely attacked. The legislation is backed by the US Senate.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post revealed that American Edge was founded by a single donation from Facebook of $4 million between December 2019 and October 2020, according to tax records obtained by the paper.

The publication also reported that in order to continue a relentless assault on the social media legislation, American Edge joined forces with politically conservative organizations as well as former national security officials and minority business associations. They also used their influence to have op-ed pieces placed in local newspapers and commissioned studies on the effects of this legislation.

In order to amplify the arguments that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had made in order to slam the bill, American Edge played upon the fears that people have over Russian cybersecurity attacks and the advances on the technology front that China has made in their sponsored writings and prolific ad placements, as was reported by the Daily Mail.

American Edge pointed their collective finger at elected officials on Capitol Hill, as they broadcast their message to the public that members of Congress have a ‘misguided agenda’ and want to ‘take away the technology we use every day.’ They also alleged that the antitrust bill poses a danger to small and minority-owned businesses, according to the Daily Mail report.

The paper noted that while American Edge continues to disseminate its political propaganda, there is absolutely no references to Facebook and its name stays out of the national dialogue on the issue of the legislation.

The Daily Mail reported that a move a source familiar with American Edge’s inner workings has said that their agenda in their media manipulation efforts is to build trust and confidence amongst consumers.

The source spoke to the Washington Post on the condition of anonymity and said, ‘Facebook can’t be the messenger. If we are out there saying it, people won’t believe it as much, so the conversation is how can you set up a proxy.’

The timing of such messages appears to be critically important and American Edge launched their smear campaign targeting the legislation only weeks after the Senate passed the American Innovation and Choice Online Act in January, as was reported by the Daily Mail.

American Edge also made it their business to prominently place an ad that featured Clayton Stanley, President and CEO of Mississippi-based economic development organization The Alliance, on February 28. The Daily Mail reported that the ad accused lawmakers in Washington D.C. of ‘weakening American technology, threatening jobs and making the U.S. economy more dependent on China.’

The ad also lauded the litany of benefits that technology provides. It alleged that technology assisted businesses to ‘innovate and reach their customers through social media and online advertising and said that the entire nation was becoming more empowered with each passing day because of technological advancements, as was reported by the Daily Mail.

An ad placed in April carried a warning from national security officials that both Russia and China may gain a ‘technological edge’ on the West as an ‘unintended consequence’ of antitrust regulation, according to the report.  The ad was given an impetus because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

American Edge’s ad placement has not only been noticed by legislators as they run in all 50 states but has sparked anger among those elected officials who have sponsored the American Innovation and Choice Online Act.

One such legislator is David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), who has led efforts to pass the legislation, according to the Daily Mail report. He said, ‘’I see them on television, I see them online all the time. They’re making our point that these platforms have too much power. They have unlimited resources.’

American Edge has spent over $70,000 on Google ads and nearly $2 million in ads on Facebook.

 

 

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