- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Thirty-six conservative activists pledged on Tuesday to reject financial support from Big Tech companies, which they identified as including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. 

The activists, organized by the ‘Free Speech Alliance’ developed by Media Research Center founder L. Brent Bozell III, include Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, The Catholic League president Bill Donohue, and Citizens United president David Bossie, among others. 

The pledge the activists signed refuses donations from tech companies directly or indirectly through surrogates. It also alleges that Big Tech censored conservative leaders and the pro-life movement and “prevented a president from communicating with his voters during an election” in reference to social media restrictions on former President Donald Trump.  

“Specifically, I/we will not accept any donations from, but not limited to, Google, Facebook Twitter, Amazon, and Apple; or if I/we do accept donations from Big Tech, I/we will recuse myself/ourselves from the debate about online freedom altogether,” read the pledge statement. “If, from this date forward, I/we inadvertently accept any financial support from big tech companies, I/we pledge to return that support immediately and publicly. I/we make this pledge understanding that Big Tech is corrupt and poses an existential threat to democracy.”

Tech platforms’ financial contributions have become toxic in certain corners of the political right. The Heritage Foundation rejected in October a $225,000 donation from Google and said it would return an $150,000 contribution from Facebook, in letters obtained by Axios. 

The dominant tech platforms are still seeking to have influence over the political right, however, and are continuing to contribute to candidates and causes. Google, for example, paused political donations after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Google soon resumed its political donations before the end of January, however, and has since contributed $15,000 to Republicans according to Federal Election Commission filings.  

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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