A recent report reveals that a lobbying group funded by Facebook has been planting stories in newspapers across the United States in an effort to manipulate the media and fight big tech regulation.
A report from the Washington Post reveals that a political advocacy group called American Edge was secretly funded by Facebook (now known as Meta) and has been manipulating news narratives by placing stories in newspapers across the United States. American Edge aimed to oppose Senate-backed antitrust legislation that attempted to reign in the Big Tech Masters of the Universe.
American Edge commissioned studies, placed op-eds in newspapers, and worked with minority business associations, former national security officials, and conservative groups to push back against the bill. In sponsored ads, American Edge focused on people’s fear of cybersecurity attacks from Russia and China, echoing arguments made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
American Edge accused lawmakers of having a “misguided agenda,” and wanting to “take away the technology we use every day,” while alleging that the antitrust bill would negatively affect small business owners. The group reportedly specifically kept mention of Facebook away from its argument in an effort to hide the company’s involvement with the lobbying group.
A source who spoke to the Washington Post stated: “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.”
In the weeks following the Senate’s passing of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act in January, American Edge launched a campaign against the legislation. The lobbying group released an ad featuring Clayton Stanley, President and CEO of Mississippi-based economic development organization The Alliance, in which he accused lawmakers of “weakening American technology, threatening jobs and making the U.S. economy more dependent on China.”
Another ad focused on the war in Ukraine and included a warning from national security officials that both Russia and China could gain a “technological edge” on the West as an “unintended consequence” of antitrust regulation.
Read more at the Washington Post here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org