An article published by The Washington Post on Monday revealed Facebook’s brand new non-profit organization, “American Edge,” that – along with other social media companies – seeks to heal self-inflicted scrutiny and improve their overall image, while deeming themselves the “future of free speech” and selling their Silicon Valley products as “essential” to politicians.
The purpose of creating such a group is to fund different ads and studies that would convince politicians to lay off the tech companies that are trying to rein them in. Is this to simply avoid any government policies and regulation of different platforms and products offered by social media companies?
The Washington Post reported:
“The organization is called American Edge, and it aims through a barrage of advertising and other political spending to convince policymakers that Silicon Valley is essential to the U.S. economy and the future of free speech, according to three people familiar with the matter as well as documents reviewed by The Washington Post. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the group because it hasn’t officially been announced.
In December, American Edge formed as a nonprofit organization, and last month, it registered an accompanying foundation, according to incorporation documents filed in Virginia. The setup essentially allows it to navigate a thicket of tax laws in such a way that it can raise money, and blitz the airwaves with ads, without the obligation of disclosing all of its donors. Many powerful political actors — including the National Rifle Association — similarly operate with the aid of “social welfare” groups.
Facebook is viewed as a critical, primary driver in helping to launch American Edge, the sources said, though some cautioned it is not the only one. On the group’s board are a former Republican governor, federal regulator and Democratic congressman, according to people familiar with the effort, and it’s being advised by a stable of veteran Democratic and Republican consultants.“
Facebook is no stranger to scrutiny, having testified (unsworn) twice before Congress – once in April 2018 where he apologized to Congress for their flawed data privacy policies collected by Cambridge Analytica (that resulted in a fine of $5 billion by the FTC), and again in October 2019 before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the platform’s cryptocurrency Libra and digital wallet Calibra, their censorship of certain accounts, fact-checking content, freedom of speech (or lack there of on the platform) and allegations of advertising discrimination.
How is it that they’re able to set up this organization and be tax-exempt?
“After earlier calls for regulation by Mark Zuckerberg, for Facebook to now set up an NRA-style lobbying effort to avoid regulation speaks louder than words,” said Marietje Schaake, international director of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center told E-Commerce Times.
Michelle Malkin tweeted about some of the members of the board on Thursday saying, “So Facebook has created a new Swamp lobbying entity called “American Edge.” Guess who’s behind it? Republicans. Lib Va. GOP state legislator Jill Holtzman Vogel filed articles of incorporation. #KnowYourEnemies https://boingboing.net/2020/05/12/facebook-helps-launch-american.html“
“Also on board the new Facebook/American Edge lobbying train: Former GOP FEC chair Bradley A. Smith. /2”
“And a third Republican involved in the new Facebook/American Edge swamp group: Former GOP New Mexico governor Susana Martinez.,” Malkin continued.
Why is there so much support coming from Republicans??
On the landing page, they list a Facebook page that was created February 24th, 2020 that only has 1 follower, Twitter page with no tweets created in February 2020, Instagram page with zero posts or followers and YouTube channel created February 24th, 2020 with no videos. The only thing listed on their Facebook page is a link to the main website, posted on Tuesday May 12th, 2020. All other platforms read, “The American Edge Project is a newly formed bipartisan coalition dedicated to the proposition that American innovators are an essential part of U.S. economic health, national security and individual freedoms” in their about sections.
Is American Edge an advertising firm or a PAC? It’s starting to sound – if anything – like the latter. No matter what title you give it, what’s happening here is a “BUYING OFF” of members of Congress to stay mum about tech companies that are hell-bent on CENSORING conservatives. How is this not considered election interference?
To learn more, keep an eye on the group’s landing page, which went live on Tuesday HERE.
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