CV NEWS FEED// The American Principles Project has launched a new tool to expose the influence of Big Tech on public policy.
The new project, BigTechFunding.org, provides an exhaustive database of think tanks, academic institutions, and advocacy groups that receive funding from Big Tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
The site also includes a browser extension that interfaces with Twitter to show users which accounts are affiliated with organizations funded by Big Tech.
This tool will be especially useful for tracking the “shadow” influence of large corporations. The public has recently become more aware of the hundreds of millions of dollars Big Tech spends to lobby Washington lawmakers, but BigTechFunding.org will also spread awareness about the think tanks and research universities that receive Big Tech funding — information which the institutions in question are often not required to disclose.
Many Big Tech-funded think tanks and research arms present themselves as neutral arbiters to policymakers and journalists, in an effort to indirectly form public opinion in favor of Big Tech and its political goals.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, has spoken to Congress about the dangers of the mysterious influence of Big Tech in American politics. “At this point, the only people who still argue that there’s no reason to be concerned about competition in Big Tech are the ones paid by Big Tech to say so,” he said.
American Principles Project Director of Policy and Government Affairs Jon Schweppe released a statement explaining why the group believes their new tool is necessary.
“Last fall, powerful Big Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google waged an all-out attack on our democracy by suppressing news stories, banning users, blocking advertisements, and manipulating algorithms to promote one political party over another,” Schweppe stated. “This cannot be allowed to happen again.”
“America won’t survive long if large swaths of our population are cheated out of participation in the public square,” Schweppe continued. “All Americans, from our lawmakers to the average voter, should know exactly where the battle lines are drawn.”