Google, Facebook, and Twitter are reportedly “scrambling” to stop regulation of their companies by the government, according to a report.
According to Bloomberg, “Google summoned about 200 policy staff from around the world last month for a debate on whether the company’s size has made it too attractive as a target for government regulators,” while “Twitter executives have been in frequent contact with Congressional committees,” and “Facebook has hired two crisis PR firms.”
The action comes after an increase in calls for the regulation of technology companies from both Democrats and Republicans, who argue Silicon Valley has become too powerful and monopolistic. Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon called for regulation of social media companies earlier this year.
During Google’s debate last month, the company reportedly “plied Washington policy experts with questions about the pros and cons of its size,” as “Google confronts European antitrust claims and proposed U.S. legislation that would increase online publishers’ liability for content produced by others.”
Meanwhile, Facebook “plans to bring on as many as 1,000 people to screen ads,” with CEO Mark Zuckerberg even reportedly “phoning members of Congress directly.”
In the first quarter of 2017, Facebook has spent over $3.2 million on lobbying, a “company record,” according to Bloomberg, while Google spent nearly $6 million in its second quarter.
Last week, it was reported that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election could reveal corporate secrets, while in September, it was reported that FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller was “now in possession of Russian-linked ads run on Facebook during the presidential election,” which he obtained via a search warrant.
Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg encouraged further investigation into large technology companies over alleged Russian interference, expressing “regret” at previously thinking Facebook had nothing to do with “the outcome of the election.”
“This is too important an issue to be dismissive,” he concluded.