Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the most vocal critics of Big Tech in the Senate, is being targeted with political attack ads on Facebook — by a Facebook-backed dark money group.
The advocacy group, American Edge, began running ads against Hawley this week, and has so far spent around $800 on messaging microtargeted to residents of the Washington D.C. area. The ads from the Big Tech-backed group accuse the Senator of threatening the “vibrant start-up and small business economy.”
As Breitbart News reported last year, American Edge was set up with backing from Facebook.
Facebook is helping set up a new political advocacy group in D.C., called “American Edge,” hoping to dissuade lawmakers against regulating big tech companies, according to a report in the Washington Post.
According to the report, the Facebook-backed lobbying group will attempt to convince federal lawmakers that big tech companies are “essential to the U.S. economy and the future of free speech.
Facebook confirmed its participation in a comment to the [Washington] Post, saying the aim of the new organization is to “help build support for our industry.”
The creation of the advocacy group comes at a time when big tech faces unprecedented scrutiny over political censorship, election interference, and competition. Facebook alone is currently subject to an antitrust probe as well as lawsuits from the targets of its political censorship.
In a tweet, Sen. Hawley called out “monopolists” for their ad campaign.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 18, 2021
“The monopolists are squirming! Here’s Facebook’s dark money group running ads on Facebook (of course) attacking my calls for trust busting.”
The Senator recently introduced a bill named the “Bust Up Big Tech Act,” which would prohibit companies that operate search engines, marketplaces, and exchanges, from also operating hosting and internet infrastructure services — a measure aimed at reining in Google and Amazon, which are frequently accused of favoring their own services in search results.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.